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Duly Quoted: Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa on a Toronto Casino

Council might need to decide on a casino without knowing how much money it would be bring in.

“The hosting fee, whatever number it is, is probably not the question that council has before them…It doesn’t seem to me, that whatever the number is, is going to matter much to their decision.”

—The provincial finance minister warning that Toronto city council may not learn how much the City would receive each year in hosting fees, if it decided to permit a new casino. Council is scheduled to debate and vote on whether to green-light a new gaming facility on Tuesday, May 21, and many councillors have said that their support for a new casino would be contingent on a substantial amount of new money flowing into municipal coffers—$100 million is the minimum most of them cite. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation sent a set of several potential revenue-splitting formulas to the ministry recently; Sousa said those options are still under review. Given his downplaying of the hosting fee, however, his remarks are likely to make many councillors even more concerned that they wouldn’t know what they’d be getting into if they decided to approve a casino in principle.