OLG wants a casino in downtown Toronto: report
Web Staff, cp24.com
Published Friday, January 13, 2012 12:01PM EST
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is pushing for a casino in downtown Toronto, and the proposal has the support of the Ford administration on one condition, according to a Globe and Mail report.
The OLG is preparing a study of a Toronto casino and is supposed to submit a report to the province in March, the Globe reported Friday. The province has the final decision on whether to open a casino.
Toronto's first casino would be a new source of revenue at a time when the provincial government is looking to cut its deficit and bring in more cash, the report stated.
The Globe report quotes sources that say there have been discussions within the McGuinty government about how a casino in Toronto would help slay the deficit.
City Coun. Doug Ford, Mayor Rob Ford's brother, told the newspaper the Ford administration would support a casino if the public is behind it.
A casino would create jobs and attract tourists, and any revenue on the city's end would go towards public transit, Doug Ford told the Globe.
"We need to build subways," he told the newspaper.
In an interview with CP24, city Coun. Michael Thompson said he learned of the OLG's desire through the media.
If a casino were to open in Toronto, the revenue the city would stand to gain would have to be significant to make the project worthwhile, Thompson said.
"I would surmise that one would want to ensure the city of Toronto would obviously benefit greatly from such an initiative," Thompson said.
He said city council previously passed a prosperity initiative report that looked at casinos as a way to generate revenue and opportunities for governments.
Proposals for casinos are often met with some opposition from concerned residents who fear the business will attract rowdy crowds and addicted gamblers to the neighbourhood.