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Public Consultations on a Casino in Toronto: Have Your Say

Here are the schedule and details for public consultations about the future of gambling in the city.

As promised, the municipal government will be holding a round of public consultations on the prospect of allowing a casino in Toronto.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation floated the idea of opening a casino here several months ago, as part of its large modernization strategy: a bid to create gaming facilities that are more attractive to a younger market, and which bring more revenue into the province. Their hope is that a Toronto casino would rake in a significant amount of cash.

The question is how much of that cash Toronto itself would get to keep—a question to which we won’t know the answer for at least a couple of months. OLG CEO Rod Phillips told councillors earlier this fall that the City would have a final answer on how much money it would get from a potential casino before they vote on the issue in the spring. Unfortunately, the public won’t be so lucky: those numbers won’t be available by the time the public consultation starts up in January. (The City will be preparing workbooks for people to go through, which will include some information that is already available. Some information is also available online.)

Want to have your say about a casino? Here’s how the public consultations will go.

PUBLIC CONSULTATION SCHEDULE


Timeline for Casino Debate

November-December 2012

  • City staff begin “significant and serious discussions” with the OLG regarding hosting fees and location options. By the end of this period City Manager Joe Pennachetti says he hopes to have a more refined sense of how much we can expect to get in terms of hosting fees—but it will still be a range, not a specific number. This will be the information that’s included as part of the public consultations.

January 2013

  • Public consultations are held at locations across the city.

February–March 2013

  • We get a final, exact number—the specific hosting fee the OLG would give to Toronto if council approved a casino.
  • Staff prepare a report for city council, summarizing the public consultations and including the results of discussions with the OLG. The report will also include staff’s recommendations regarding the preferred location of a potential casino, and how much revenue they think is enough to make the whole prospect of a casino worthwhile.
  • Once the report is issued, the matter will come back for discussion at the executive committee, and ultimately, to city council as a whole

Related Reading:

The City of Toronto’s report on a casino: [PDF]

Ernst & Young’s report: [PDF]

OLG’s modernization plan: [PDF]


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