Public Education Needed On This Special Interest Group Immediately:

Posted by: Conor Brown

“The more you play, the more you pay.” – John Dunsworth

This photo above (taken by moi) exemplifies what I think of when I hear the word, “casino” buzzing around these days. The next few images go something like this and then they slowly get worse!

Alright, here’s the Gambling 101 for this trending public affairs topic.

The “Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG)” want’s to expand their enterprise PERIOD. Canada’s biggest city can potentially have a full fledged casino, minutes away from the downtown core. The potential consequences (if this falls through) can make or break Torontonian’s livlihood and ultimately the health of our government.

New OLG Report Calls for Massive Changes to Ontario’s Gambling Industry

Much like the americanization of Canada (especially in the biggest city!) on issues such as NFL in TorontoMMA becoming legal & UFC’s cooperate takeover

This casino issue is on $$$$$ like everything else but we tend to forget our humanistic traits at this point. The economic disparity gap will widen and the inner-city life will become far more dangerous.

Take a closer look at compulsive gamblers (From Arizona, United States) to gain one perspective of the consequences.

Maybe we should just deal with it like Arnold or just play some more ‘Casino Tycoon’ on the computer? Either way, I just hope we don’t turn out like this…

or even worse… IRL!

News to keep updated on currently:

OLG desperately needed an overhaul

“The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.” – Mark Twain

Gambling problems are being turned a blind eye as the Ontario government seeks a bigger ‘slice of the gambling pie’ (as newscasters dubbed). What the americans do in their cities (NYC), Canada will attempt to do the same.

Speak up and debate,

References:

“John Dunsworth a VLT Addict! (Mr Lahey).” Trailer Park Boys Dot ORG (www.trailerparkboys.org). Web. 16 Mar. 2012. <http://www.trailerparkboys.org/forums/index.php?topic=1182.0&gt;.

“OLG A Corporate News Releases – 2008-2009.” OLG A Corporate News Releases. Web. 16 Mar. 2012. <http://media.olg.ca/?p=nmm_news_detail&gt;.

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Waterfront Woes, Casino Blows?

Posted by: Deb Gibbons

The Simpsons mockery on a new casino being built in Springfield. This image has been the mockery of the proposed Toronto casino on many blogs.

So, as many people have heard, The McGuinty Liberals have proposed a new casino to be built in the GTA. The majority of Ontarians, especially Torontonians (2/3 in fact!), do not support this at all. The government argues that the casino will generate millions and benefit the economy, allowing for debt balance. Finance Minister Dwight Duncan stated; “This new revenue will help us balance the budget”, along with another apparent “debt balancer”; the closing of the family famous Ontario Place. The OLG has defended their decision to back-up the Toronto casino by stating that it will be “modernized” gaming, meaning there is no worry of gambling addictions, mafia involvement, and exploiting of what was once a family-friendly environment?

That’s what many Ontarians are saying. Is the expansion of gambling really a prominent issue at the moment? Could the money not be better spent on the economy? Or even donated to the countries that are currently dealing with natural disasters, flooding, and nuclear plants? However, an opposite opinion, which accounts for only one third of the population is; “Why not?” If it’s not a casino, its condos. It will be used to the government’s advantage regardless, right?

However one opinion I think all Torontonians can share is that it would be slightly disappointing to turn one of the cities only access points to the waterfront into a “grotesque carnival”.  One blogger says that if the Liberals do decide to follow through, then they better go big, or they’ll go home;

I want to see Liza’s name dancing in lights on Lake Ontario… I want to see a bunch of independent, funky bars filling every nook and cranny and terrace of Ontario Place. And I want all those bars to have a constant, revolving flow of bands — some new, some established, some house bands — like the ones that used to make Yonge Street so much fun and employed so many Toronto musicians… I want them to restart all the games and rides and waterpark slides (ice slides in winter — right out onto the harbour at 3 a.m.) — but for adults, not kids…and a minor focus on gamblingIf the McGuinty Liberals could pull that off, I’d back Casino Toronto, but they can’t…they’ll do it half-assed.”-“Adult Adventureland” Alan Parker

I think I can agree, wouldn’t it be awesome?! Now that’s a reason to come to a Toronto casino! When it’s surrounded by other adult activities, bars, restaurants, and concerts! What tourists would bypass that? But along with this idea is the notion of using the Exhibition Place instead, seeing as it is already an event venue and tourist destination. Then the government gets their casino, and we get our waterfront.

It is definitely a controversial issue and has landed a spot in every major Canadian newspaper recently. I can understand the reasoning behind both opposing sides; however, I think I would have to side with my fellow Torontonians in opposing it being built on the waterfront. There is already so many buildings and so little nature, trees, flowers, grass. We live in a concrete city; can’t we please just keep this one little retreat reserved?

-Deb

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Casino Toronto – Foe or Friend?

Posted by: Kaitlin McGoran

It was virtually impossible to read the newspaper this week without seeing something about the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) – March 12, 2012 report which calls for the modernization of Lottery and Gaming. You probably didn’t hear very many details about the actual OLG’s report. How OLG plans on increasing declining revenues throughout Ontario, or the pressing issue of OLG’s necessity to modernize to survive the newly emerging global economy.

BUT, I bet you herd about Toronto’s POSSIBILITY of getting it’s very own casino.

As outlined in OLG’s corporate blog, the small stipulation that received a lot of attention:

“Allow up to one new casino in the GTA, subject to an OLG business case and municipal approval.”

The news is reporting it,

The province is talking about it,

But if you actually read through OLG’s report, you will learn the possibility of a casino in Toronto is one among many strategies to make more money.

The biggest problem about gambling in Ontario is it’s an old system developed around old strategies that no longer work. The two major Ontario casinos, Niagara and Rama were strategically placed close to the US border. As gambling researcher Dr. Robert Williams explains:

“Western countries have historically always placed casinos in foreign tourist destinations so that a) the revenue represents a genuine influx of new money from outside the jurisdiction (rather than just re-circulated money), and b) to avoid negatively impacting the local populace”

Following Dr. Robert Williams theory the affect of the 2009 law prohibiting Americans to cross the Canadian border without a passport has substantially limited the amount of US visitors in Canadian casinos. With some sources listing the drop up to 70%.

Between the drop of foreign visitors in Ontario casinos, and the rapidly growing online gambling world, OLG has taken a pretty steep hit. There are many opinions all around the Internet already, voicing their opinion against Casino Toronto.

“An estimated $400 million is currently spent by Ontarians on offshore gambling websites.”

Aalan Parker – Nosey Parker Blog
Veteran Journalist blogging about breaking news, tries to read past what the headlines say. Toronto based blogger. *Other notable link at BlogTO.

These opinions that are emerging are voices of Torontonians, with just cause. A Casino coming to anyone’s backyard is a huge decision that has a never-ending multitude of interests to represent.

In conclusion I understand public concern, it’s needed, a big decision like this should be handled with the up most care. It’s in the hands of the government to do it right.

In the face of sever budget cuts to loved and cherished Ontario social programs, Casino Toronto might just be the gamble the government needs to help with its “little defecate problem.”

IS OLG BRINGING GAMBLING TO THE MASSES, GOOD OR BAD?

I think, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

K.M.

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[Video] Documentary – Gambling Addiction in Las Vegas

Posted by: Conor Brown

Just a clear cut look at some problem gamblers.

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The McGuinty Gamble

Posted by: Tara A. Gottschalk

The Ontario government is in debt and wants to use gaming as way to generate millions of dollars in additional revenue to help balance the budget. Ontario Place has been shut down and the question is does it make sense to locate a casino in the big city of Toronto and in particular, Ontario Place?  There are those bloggers that believe Ontario Place was shut down to create a place for the casino to be located.   The issue raised by bloggers is centered in the City of Toronto but has repercussions for other centers all across Ontario that currently are licensed to operate casinos such as Orillia and Niagara Falls.  Blog entries are motivated by those opposed to the plan and by those who are skeptical of the Ontario government plans.  The gaming industry, reputable individuals, those impacted by these plans, those citizens who are opposed to the expansion of gambling, and angry citizens of Ontario who are fed up with the liberal government are all blogging about the decision to expand casinos to larger Ontario centers.  The news media,  major communication companies, and concerned citizens spreading their views by word of mouth, are all responsible for expressing their viewpoints on this hot topic.

I believe that yes a casino in Toronto could generate financial stability. Does it have to be down town? Toronto already has the ACC, the CN tower, and the Skydome all packed in the downtown core. I believe the government should try to broaden their horizons and see where a casino could last in the next 50 years. This cannot be a quick fix solution or a spontaneous lot purchase. If McGuinty and the liberal government understand their citizens they know they have to go through many drafts, because if Toronto get’s a casino their will be high expectations.

t.a.g.

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