WEG Addresses Toronto's Executive Committee
On Monday, November 5, representatives from the Woodbine Entertainment Group addressed the City of Toronto's Executive Committee. The move by WEG is an effort to retain and expand gaming offerings at Woodbine Racetrack, and to get the committee to understand what current and expanded gaming at the grand raceway means to the city.
Jane Holmes, WEG's vice president of Corporate Affairs, told the committee that Woodbine would like Toronto Council to allow casino expansion in gaming zone C2 under the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.'s gaming modernization plan (Woodbine Racetrack is located in C2).
The Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and National Post are in Council chambers today covering the proceedings, which saw WEG given the opportunity to begin its committee address before noon.
"We need the support of the City of Toronto," Holmes proclaimed on behalf of WEG, which stated that Woodbine helps keep 7,500 people employed via its operation. The Canadian racing giant also explained that its massive operation in Rexdale, Ont. would be dealt a significant blow if a nearby municipality were to land gaming rights.
WEG has explained to Council that it is a perfect and proven location for expanded gaming in the city. Holmes and WEG President and CEO Nick Eaves are stressing that the raceway already has the infrastructure and positive track record in place to make expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack an absolute no-brainer for the city. The sprawling raceway, dubbed by some as 'Canada's Showplace of Racing,' features 7,000 parking spaces, a massive grandstand and boatloads of space for a multi-tiered expansion, given its 680-acre property.
In addition to presenting the facts regarding its positive gaming history and proven business record, WEG also presented Council a petition with 10,237 signatures, and 670 letters from employees, neighbours and industry partners regarding the importance of Woodbine Racetrack as a Toronto gaming destination.
Telling the committee that WEG "supports" roughly 15,000 jobs across the City of Toronto, Eaves stated that the approval of a downtown casino without the approval for expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack would be a big threat to the facility going forward.
(With files from the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and National Post)