Onex Corp Joins Toronto Casino Construction Race
The race to have a casino constructed in the Greater Toronto Area is heating up, with another interested party - Onex Corp - trying to lobby councillors to support its proposal.
A massive firm chaired by Toronto billionaire Gerry Schwartz, Onex Corp will
soon also issue a detailed Toronto casino construction proposal to get in
on the action.
The company has already turned to lobbying councillors about their proposal, including gambling opponents Janet Davis, Adam Vaughan and Shelley Carool.
Onex Corp already has experience in the Canadian gambling industry, holding a stake in the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, and running four other casinos in Alberta.
Strong Canadian Casino Partner
In an email sent on Friday by Onex Corp., the group said: "Onex believes that it can be a strong Canadian partner to help OLG develop successful casinos in areas where it makes the most sense for the province and the local communities."
"Our discussions are ongoing with elected officials, developers, local businesspeople, and others to determine the best potential locations for a casino and where Ontario Lottery and Gaming can achieve the goal of providing the best return to the province."
Earlier this year, Schwartz said in an interview that he was excited about the OLG's decision to allow a casino to be constructed in the GTA.
According to the statement issued by Onex about the Toronto casino proposal, the group is examining a number of locations in downtown Toronto and is in the process of "developing proposals for a large integrated gaming resort that would be successful for any of these locations."
Toronto Casino Race Heats Up
Onex Corp is getting a late start into the Toronto casino race, with a number of parties already expressing their interest in being part of the process, and wooing councillors and other interest groups.
Last week, a $3 million proposal was revealed by Oxford Properties Group, which incorporates the redevelopment of the Metro Toronto Convention Center.
Other groups include the Vegas based Caesars Entertainment, as well as MGM Resorts International which favors Exhibition Place as a potential location, compared to Caesars' preferred Front St. area.
However, Exhibition Place seems to be off the tables as a location for the moment, with its board voting against the idea.
The board believes that hosting a casino would destroy the 133 year old fair and the president said that "the threat level increased when MGM said it was looking to use 10 - 20% of our 192 acres."
"When you take into account roadways, heritage buildings, contiguous space, we couldn't put on a fair," said Brian Ashton. "The elephant would simply squish us."