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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About publicaffairs101

Public Affairs 101
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