Day At The Track

City Hall rally says 'yes' to Woodbine casino

07:14 PM 15 Apr 2013 NZST
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Woodbine Entertainment Group
Woodbine Entertainment Group

As the City of Toronto Executive Committee met today to consider potential casino locations in Toronto, about 150 people rallied outside City Hall in a show of support for a casino at Woodbine Racetrack.

The rally was joined by horse racing legend Sandy Hawley, Woodbine track announcer Dan Loiselle, and Nick Eaves, President and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group.

The recent City Staff report on casinos in Toronto recommends that City Council consent to expansion of the current slots facilities at Woodbine to include live table games in zone C2 – an idea that a majority of Torontonians support, according to the city’s own polling.

The 150-plus employees and supporters of Woodbine Entertainment Group came from throughout the GTA to let City Council know that a casino at Woodbine is good for jobs, good for the horse racing industry, and good for Toronto.

“We’re here to applaud the Staff Report’s recommendation and share our enthusiasm for a Woodbine casino with the city,” said Nick Eaves. “A casino at Woodbine, operated by Woodbine Entertainment Group, will create much-needed jobs in Rexdale and help ensure the sustainability of horse racing in Ontario, which supports more than 55,000 jobs in the province.”

Important facts about a casino at Woodbine:

  • The City Staff Report recommends expanding the current 3,000-slots OLG facility at Woodbine Racetrack to include live dealer gaming, supporting already-approved plans for the area as an urban entertainment and retail destination.

  • Woodbine is the major employer in Rexdale, generating 7,500 jobs in Toronto. A fully integrated entertainment/gaming complex at Woodbine would create another 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs in construction and 1,600 jobs in ongoing operations.

  • According to a City of Toronto poll conducted by Environics, a majority (55%) of Torontonians support expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack.

  • The report estimates that a casino at Woodbine would return nearly $50 million in combined hosting fees and property taxes.
by John SISCOS

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