Las Vegas Sands Examines Toronto Casino Options
As interest grows to construct a mega casino in the Greater Toronto Area, a new group has staked a claim by exploring its options.
The Las Vegas Sands, a Nevada based company, has officially entered the picture by announcing that it is examining ways of entering the Greater Toronto Area's potential casino market.
The Senior Vice President of the group, Andy Abboud said that while there was no specific site or proposal for the casino, a number of options are being looked into.
He elaborated, however, by saying: "Our main interest is in the downtown core and the waterfront, because we want to be close to existing tourist infrastructures, close to the best restaurants and theaters."
Toronto Entertainment Golden Mile
Las Vegas Sands' ideal casino spot fits in well with Ontario Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan's vision of creating a 'golden mile' of entertainment facilities on Toronto's waterfront.
There has been a lot of support for the establishment of a casino in Toronto by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation chairman Paul Godfrey.
He has stated that his preferred choice to see a casino constructed would be on the waterfront.
However, Ontario has also made it clear to individual city councils that it would not force any casino type establishment if residents were not willing to host it.
According to Abboud, the model proposed by the OLG for a larger, integrated-type resort, which incorporates not only gambling, but also restaurants, hotels and retailers, fits in well with the Las Vegas Sands' set up.
The company has already registered lobbyists to promote interest in a Las Vegas Sands Toronto casino. The VP said this would be first venture across the border for Las Vegas Sands.
Gambling Groups Show Interest in Toronto
The Las Vegas Sands is not the first company to show interest in a casino in Toronto, and the group will need to elbow its way through tough competition.
Top US companies such as Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have already expressed their interest, while the local Onex Corp is also in the picture.
The idea will be debated by the city council once a report on casinos in Toronto is submitted. Should council give the go ahead, an official tender process will begin and gambling groups will then be able to make an official bid.
The Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, has already indicated that he would be interested in the construction of a casino at Exhibition Place, owned by the city.