The ‘maybes’ as opposed to the former ‘no ways’ in regards to a Toronto casino should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the hypocrisy of the Ontario government over the years. In an October 24 posting last year, this blog postulated that there really might be three casinos in the Toronto area. That could be pushing the envelope but the Toronto Star now reports that Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan says the province ‘may try its luck with a Toronto Casino.’
It had to happen. The province needs the money. The city needs the money. It is a match made in heaven.
The fiction over the years was that the government wanted to capture tourist dollars with its casinos. That was the supposed plan until easy access across the U.S. border became a thing of the past. A higher Canadian dollar made the casinos on the U.S. side of the border more attractive. And Ontario’s restrictive smoking and alcohol laws had already turned off many American gamblers. It makes it time to admit that the only market that can turn a substantial profit for the government is Toronto. All the government has to do is admit what we have always known: Toronto is the tourist destination preferred by most visitors to Ontario.
Mind you, Toronto Councillor Michael Thompson speaks for many Neanderthals when he says: “I wouldn’t want to hear about families losing their house or their life savings.” Obviously, Mr. Thompson and like-minded people out of Ontario’s puritan past should have stopped Niagara Falls, Rama, Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, Skugog Island, Brantford, Gananoque and the National Capitol area’s Lac Leamy from taking the hapless gamblers’ money. That horse has been out of the barn far too long.
The only conflicted Member of the Legislature will be MPP “Tiny Tim” Hudak, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition. He will not only be against anything the government is for, but just think of the number of people in his provincial riding who work at the Niagara Falls casinos.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s study on “land-based gaming”—whatever that means—will be coming out soon and it will say whatever the Ontario government wants it to say. The only thing that might be a surprise will be a move by Ontario into Internet gaming. The government needs the money.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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