Article published on 15 November 2012

OLG Mulls Idea of Casino Outside Toronto

New Toronto Casino Plan Change
The Maple Gambling image gallery control requires that you have the Flash Player plugin installed and JavaScript enabled in your browser.

While all the proposals for a new Toronto casino thus far have seen the resort located in the core of the city, the Chief Executive of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Rod Phillips has now said that the OLG "is not wedded to Toronto".

According Phillips, the OLG is also open to the idea of locating the planned casino outside the city, and said that there could even be advantages to constructing the casino at any of the areas in the running, namely Vaughan, Mississauga or Markham.

Phillips' views are possibly not shared by the Provincial Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and the chair of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp, Paul Godfrey who have stressed that they would prefer to see the casino located in the heart of Toronto. They believe that a hot-spot at a prime location in Toronto would draw thousands of tourists and convention attendees.

Building Casino Outside Toronto

However, Rod Phillips said this week: "It is important to remember, OLG is not wedded to Toronto. We are open to the broader GTA."

"There are great opportunities from an economic development point of view, from a tourism point of view, from a capital development point of view that are unparalleled in Toronto," said Phillips. "From a purely profitable perspective, the facility outside Toronto might be the better choice."

It is estimated that building a casino in the heart of Toronto could bring in three times the number of convention visitors and generate $2 billion in capital investments, creating upwards of 12,000 jobs for Canadians.

On the flip side, building the casino outside of the city would lower capital costs and make it easier for visitors to access the casino, bringing more "direct profit" to Ontario.

In terms of employment, an outside casino would create around half the number of construction jobs as an inner-city one would, and would eventually employ 9,500 permanent staff members.

Dynamics of Casino Decision

Reaching such an important decision on the OLG Toronto casino is not an easy task, and there are many factors to take into account.

"The point we are making is one we have made all along," said Phillips. "There are choices that OLG and the province have. We want to make sure that Toronto and the other cities understand the dynamics of those choices.

"If a facility costs twice as much in Toronto then it has to make a lot more money and so we want to keep that in front of everyone so that they are no surprised," he said.

Be the first to comment on this article!