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The OLG wants to bring a casino to the Toronto area

Posted by Roxanne Hathway-Baxter / March 12, 2012

Ka-ching. Toronto might be getting a casino, after all — or at least the GTA. At a press conference earlier today it was announced that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) plans to open a casino somewhere in the Toronto Area, though the specifics have yet to be determined.

This move is part of a larger plan, a "programming expansion," that includes expanding slots from racetracks to independent sites, and an increased amount of outlets where lottery tickets can be bought, such as grocery and retail stores. It has been suggested that less successful establishments will be closed or moved, but the OLG has not fully confirmed these reports.

OLG hopes to reach more people and to better service those living in urban centres, as well as creating jobs and increasing revenue for the province. As to what the reaction from municipal politicians will be, that's another story. While OLG representatives claim numerous areas have expressed interest in hosting a casino, downtown councillor Adam Vaughan has been an outspoken critic of the idea, so don't bet on the new Ontario Place serving up roulette tables.

Where do you think it'll end up?



Rob / March 12, 2012 at 01:23 pm
It'll end up at Woodbine as part of a larger expansion plan, just as the Rob Ford brought forward a few years back. And, I don't think it's a bad idea to put it at Woodbine with close proximity to the airport, the 427 and it's TTC-accessible. Plus, as Doug Ford rightly pointed out, Toronto's portion of the revenue generated could go towards transit. This is only the second item I've ever agreed with the Fords on, the first being a review of services. One place they shouldn't put the casino is Ontario Place. With the recent proclamation from Adam Vaughan calling for no casinos in the downtown core, it's wise not to pick a fight and go with the path of least resistance (i.e. - Woodbine).
Kicking Courier Ass replying to a comment from Rob / March 12, 2012 at 01:32 pm
"'s wise not to pick a fight and go with the path of least resistance (i.e. - Woodbine)."

Sadly, the Fords seem incapable of stepping back from a fight, they might choose that location just to spite Adam Vaughan, who will in all likelihood, be our next Mayor.
Rob replying to a comment from Kicking Courier Ass / March 12, 2012 at 01:40 pm
I know, you're right. But, as I suspect, they badly want this for Woodbine as part of a larger redevelopment project. I don't see them losing sight of this, even out of spite for council. They will push heavily for this to go to Woodbine. It won't go downtown, or to Ontario Place, or elsewhere.
Khristopher / March 12, 2012 at 02:25 pm
Ontario Place is where it should be. I don't care if Adam Vaughan doesn't want it, maybe he should listen to the people he represents instead.
Rob replying to a comment from Khristopher / March 12, 2012 at 02:34 pm
Why should it be there? You have to drive to get there, the site would need a major redevelopment to house it, and it's right next door to a growing neighbourhood and beach.

This isn't Atlantic City where at one time putting casinos near the water may have worked. It's far easier and better to put it at Woodbine. The infrastructure is there. It just makes more sense.
bill / March 12, 2012 at 04:00 pm
This will definitely land in rexdale. It's been a Ford goal for as long as I can remember. They will not spite vaughan on this one.
Jacob / March 12, 2012 at 04:26 pm
Even a casino won't change North Etobicoke from looking like a post-industrial wasteland.
Chris / March 12, 2012 at 05:14 pm
Fine with me if it goes to Woodbine. It would be a draw to that part of town, and I'd have no issues with the money being allocated to transit (doubt it though, since its the Province's casino, not the City's - I don't see them letting the City keep more than a portion of that money).

If the Fords want to use that Casino money (if it comes ) to build subways in the future, God bless 'em - just don't piss away the 8.4Billion we're already getting for the sole purpose burying the Eglinton LRT all the way to Scarborough.

James / March 12, 2012 at 07:49 pm
The proceeds from a casino will NOT go to transit, as Paul Godfrey from OLG has already said. It would set a precedent that they wouldn't want--if they said yes then every city would want OLG money for their transit.
Rob replying to a comment from James / March 13, 2012 at 06:36 am
Oh yeah? Straight from the report released yesterday:

"In addition to OLG’s payments to the Province, there are also several direct beneficiaries of gaming proceeds including the horseracing sector (approximately $345 million in 2011-12), host municipalities (approximately $92 million in 2011-12) and from both lottery and gaming, Ontario First Nations (approximately $117 million in 2011-12)."

So, explain to me how Toronto won't get some money from this to put towards transit?
GRAARG / March 13, 2012 at 09:12 am
I think this is totally awesome. We can totally fix the giant massive budget holes in Ontario and the GTA by rolling out more and more monopoly services provided by The Government. I mean it makes total total sense to suck all the money out of Ontarion’s pockets to fix the hole in Ontarion’s pockets.

Now, if only The Government could monopolize smokes, gas, and, heck, while we’re at it food. Then The Government could wave a magic wand and the budget woes would be gone.

This is a stupid idea on so many levels.
ff / March 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm
Steve / March 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm
The Town of Markham has been building a downtown for itself east of Warden and 407. The builder and owner of the land, The Remington Group, has been working on the main residential area for the last 5 years or so, but the entire project has been in the planning process for 20 years now. They have recently started construction on a Ciniplex VIP theatre and retail complex, as well as facilities for the Pan Am games. Last November, the media reported that Graeme Roustan and friends have plans to build an NHL-sized arena there. If anyone has seen the area, it is a big piece of undeveloped flat land right in the heart of the GTA. Remington plans to make the area lively, full of entertainment, and the envy of the Province by 2020. The rest of Toronto and the GTA might be wondering where the Casino will be built, but the people of the Town of Markham already know the answer.....
Stu / March 30, 2012 at 03:23 am
Steve ... it's amazing, that exact comment was also posted by Stu at Ryersonian. Are you a Remington employee by any chance?

There is zero evidence that there is anything to the arena "announcement".
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