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Toronto is the “biggest opportunity in the world right now” for casino companies

(Image: Ian McKellar)

The Toronto Star recently took a close look at the competition for the GTA casino, squeezing details out of insiders at MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and some of the other mega-companies hoping to secure the contract. And the competition is fierce—one source called a development gambling’s “biggest opportunity in the world right now,” while another, working for one of the big players, estimates his client will have shelled out $2 million by the end of the bidding process (apparently, lobbyists, polls and focus groups are expensive). Interestingly, MGM has reportedly suggested it would help pay for a long-overdue rebuild of Ontario Place if given the go-ahead to build a casino across the bridge at Exhibition Place, and Caesars has expressed interest in a similar plan. Still, before the cash-strapped province can avail itself of that cash, it has to convince Toronto city council of a couple of things:  a) that a casino in the city is a good idea; and b) that it should go on the waterfront. And lately, the province has seemed less willing to insist upon either of those points. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

  • AnonymousBusiness

    As seen in the comments sections of The Star article, the preliminary market research released by the casino corporations themselves and the 77% that voted no to a casino during the 1997 referendum, there is a very slim chance that a casino will actually be built. Casinos are a weight on any society and are usually frequented by the lowest common denominator. There is nothing wrong with being entertained, but a casino business model seeks to do more than just that. Their main goal must be to keep people gambling in order to make profit and be able to compensate guests with hotel rooms, meals and cigarettes (this is just overhead to them). The truth is that they peddle addictions and claim that the user is responsible. In essence, they are right, if you are addicted to gambling than it is most likely your fault. However, it is a society’s responsibility to prevent the initial exposure. Toronto is predominantly an educated city with a culturally diverse population. It will hold that the people who came to this country came to work hard and succeed by their own means, not through a quick buck with no merit.

    These corporations are spending money on speculation and are accustomed to doing so. They are wasting their time and they know. A quick google search on Toronto’s current approval ratings for casinos in the GTA would have stopped any other less funded corporation. However, just about every casino inc. has been spending money on expansion since 2008 (MGM), and the current Toronto bid is just a drop in their bucket. They more than likely are aware of the frivolity of the situation.