The Finance Minister of Ontario Vic Fedeli revealed that the Government of the province is open to the idea of adding a casino in downtown Toronto. Still, Mr. Fedeli explained that any decisions on the matter will be made after the necessary consultations and as part of a larger redevelopment of the city’s waterfront area.
The comment made by Ontario’s Finance Minister came as a first actual confirmation that the Government of Premier Doug Ford is considering to add a gambling complex as part of its redevelopment plan for the province-owned waterfront theme park Ontario Place which was closed a few years ago.
Yesterday, The Globe and Mail revealed that Premier Ford has been backing the idea of a new gambling facility addition to the waterfront area of Toronto. As a matter of fact, he first supported the idea at the time he served as a Toronto city councilor, but the previous city council then rejected the project, with the latter being opposed by mayor John Tory as well.
However, in August 2018, an announcement about Ontario Place redevelopment emerged, fuelling rumors about possible discussions about the opening of a downtown casino in the city. Now, the confirmation made by Mr. Fedeli that the Provincial Government is open to the idea of a new casino comes amid the campaign for the municipal election which is to take place in October.
Negotiations for New Ontario Place Casino May Be Tough
Still, Ontario’s Finance Minister shared that the casino addition issue was not raised by Mr. Ford with him and further explained that the possibility of a waterfront gambling facility must be discussed between the Government of the province, the City of Toronto and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG)
As reported by The Globe and Mail, Andrea Horwath, the Ontario New Democratic Party leader, revealed that the idea of a waterfront casino would not be supported by the Official Opposition. Ms. Horwath said to the media that according to her such a project would not be the right one for Ontario Place, which is supposed to be suitable for families and Ontario citizens of all ages.
Casino Reports revealed yesterday that the local Government will have to bring the issue of the addition of a waterfront casino to the negotiations table. In order for the project to be approved, the provincial Government will have to reach agreements with the gambling operators which currently have gambling venues in Ontario. The companies will have to give their consent for a new gambling facility in downtown Toronto as the addition of a new casino would increase competition for them in the region.
According to information shared by people close to the sector, a contract between the OLG and the consortium operating three gambling venues in Greater Toronto also exists, with the agreement including the right of an effective veto on future casino gambling development in the area.