OLG: downtown Toronto casino would be 'iconic'
Published Friday, September 21, 2012 9:39AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 21, 2012 9:34PM EDT
A new casino built in downtown Toronto would yield the most jobs and revenue for the province compared to other locations, according to the head of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
OLG chairman Paul Godfrey said a new downtown facility has the potential to create 12,000 jobs with a total capital expenditure of no more than $2 billion.
“There will be a facility built,” Godfrey told CP24 on Friday. “If they want something iconic and they want to produce all these jobs and revenue that will go to the province and a lot of revenue to the City of Toronto, it should be downtown Toronto.”
Godfrey said the new OLG facility would only dedicate 10 per cent of the space to gaming.
“It’s going to have hospitality, it’s going to have retail shops, it’s going to have convention facilities,” he said. “We have an opportunity of making our convention centre one of the top 10 in all of North America.”
However, Godfrey noted that the success of the facility is dependent on its location.
“If by chance they say no to it, we’ll build something less iconic in one of the municipalities surrounding the GTA.”
Godfrey said he will respect whatever decision Toronto city council makes on a downtown casino, but he added: “I don’t like losing.”
The OLG head said he expects council to make a final decision on a Toronto casino in early 2013.
Godfrey added that several other GTA municipalities are interested in hosting an OLG casino and if Toronto doesn’t make a decision by February of next year, he will look elsewhere.
Godfrey spoke about the opportunities associated with a casino along Toronto’s waterfront or downtown during a meeting with the Toronto Board of Trade Friday morning.