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OLG: Woodbine Table Gaming 'Possible'

Published: October 4, 2012 11:23 am ET

Last Comment: October 24, 2012 8:17 am ET | 18 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Spokesman Tony Bitonti has gone on the record as saying that there is a possibility that not one, but two casinos could come to Toronto, and that it is possible that table gaming could be introduced at Woodbine Racetrack.

The news comes courtesy of an article by the Toronto Star, which states that the table gaming could come to the suburban Toronto raceway if the track operator, the Woodbine Entertainment Group, is ultimately selected by the OLG to be a private operator.

When asked about Woodbine Racetrack in the Toronto Star article, Bitonti was quoted as saying, “There is a possibility of adding gaming tables there.”

The report also indicates that even if the City of Toronto ultimately decides that it does not want to play host to casino expansion, the Province of Ontario would still have the ability to introduce casinos to the city. The article states that the province could issue a ministerial zoning order, a move which would override city bylaws. However, OLG officials say they will not put a casino in a municipality that doesn’t want one.

(With files from the Toronto Star)

October 24, 2012 - 8:17 amIf WEG gets expanded gaming,

If WEG gets expanded gaming, what are they prepared to do for the rest of the industry?

October 24, 2012 - 8:16 amNo Godfrey et al are not

No Godfrey et al are not elected officials and since the Liberals have prorogued parliament, so too, as a department of the Gov't, should all action of the OLG be prorogued. No way can they make a decision without it first going through Parliament.

October 10, 2012 - 7:00 amDerek... I never said you are

Will Yamakva SAID...

Derek... I never said you are standing in the way of newcomers coming to the sport. I am saying you are doing nothing to bring them in.

Your comparison to hockey is a failed one, in that the ins and outs of the rules, might be hard, but the basic idea is not hard to follow. Same with horse racing, as the first horse to the wire wins. However, the BIG difference, is that the fan that first sees hockey, pays his money, and that is that. Horse racing has the wagering angle to add. That angle is more important to you than people just showing up. You rely on that money to keep your game going. So your role is NOT like that of the hockey player. You need fans to not only attend, but wager on the games themselves. Hockey players do not care if you make a pro-line bet. Hockey players do not get paid from money bet on pro-line.

October 6, 2012 - 12:49 pmsad..very sad.

Murat Talugu SAID...

sad..very sad.

October 5, 2012 - 6:17 pmThe casino projections that

The casino projections that the OLG have presented reflect huge increases for municipalities who participate in their new casino plan.

Some questions came up in the Ottawa city council meeting on October 2 that I found interesting.

Where is all of this projected additional gambling money coming from? Additional gamblers coming from where?
It appears they need to squeeze more gambling money from the current gamblers to increase profit.
The OLG presenter at the Ottawa meeting said that "problem gamblers are not good long term business investments". Doesn't that warm your heart.....the caring.

Also a wise old councilman asked this question, "the OLG plans on introducing Internet Gambling in June of 2013. How is this not going to negatively impact the cut the municipalities receive from their local casino. The player has only so much money for gambling. The OLG will be in direct competition with the municipal casinos with the advantage of bringing their product to the player`s home.``
Internet Gambling. That is a whole other ball of wax.
Minors getting parents credit cards, player`s personal information being hacked as happened in British Columbia, virtually no responsible gambling oversight, intoxicated gambling at home with no oversight.....a disaster in the making. Another topic for another day.

This casino expansion is one big con game by the OLG and the Liberal Government.
Unfortunately the facts will surface after it is too late to stop it.
Act now or forever hold your peace.

October 5, 2012 - 7:45 amMost logical solution is to

Diane Lord SAID...

Most logical solution is to have mini casino's in all B racetracks in Ontario and full blown casino's in major tracks like Woodbine and Mohawk.

October 5, 2012 - 7:29 am...and can single game sports

jim cauchon SAID...

...and can single game sports wagering be far behind?
is Windsor MP Joe Comartin's private member bill still consideration??

I HOPE SO.

adding sportsbook to any casino or track setting is a VERY GOOD THING.

demographics are very right and could well bring a lot more action from offshore to on-site.

id be in there pushing for it if im a horseman..

havent heard a peep about it......though youd think we will in the not to distant future.

October 5, 2012 - 12:42 am@will yamakava Do you even

Derek Reid SAID...

@will yamakava

Do you even understand the issues you are ranting about? You claim that we don't vote on every issue that goes through the government and this is no different. The point you seem to be missing is that this issue is NOT being decided by our elected representatives in the legislature, but rather by unelected officials within the OLG. It's bad enough this unelected body is deciding economic policy in the province. Now we find out they also have the power to circumvent the decisions made by (elected) municipal representatives and dictate their own zoning laws as well. This is why we complain of being strong armed by a dictatorship, because we have this organization that has god-like powers and is accountable to neither our MPP's or municipal councilors for their actions.

I also fail to see any logic or understanding of a 'horsemen's vote' to help newcomers understand racing better. Let's compare racing to hockey. The role of the horseman in racing is the same as a player in hockey. If someone who has never seen a hockey game before goes to a game for the first time and has no idea what is going on, what the rules are, what the lines mean, how the scoreboard is read, etc., would you also claim the fault lies solely with the players on the ice for not making the game easy for this person to understand? Yet you claim somehow that it is the horsemen who are at fault and are standing in the way of newcomers enjoying our sport????

Derek Reid

October 4, 2012 - 6:50 pmI have just read the comments

I have just read the comments by Leslie Porter who quotes an email from Lisa McLeod....don't misunderstand me but the things Lisa is quoting we have been saying all along. Yes, we should send emails to the noted persons but I can't help wondering...Is Tim Hudak standing up in the house and saying enough is enough of this LYING LIBERAL DICTATORSHIP..Is Andrea Horwath standing up in the house and screaming blue murder..?? NO...I have not heard either of these party leaders take a firm stand .in favor of [email protected] Program....they just talk about how damaging the situation is for all concerned. They are leaving the fighting to us horse people and we don't seem to be getting anywhere....possibly because our hopeful leaders are NOT standing with us. We could use some encouragement from them...we seem to be doing all the encouraging amongst ourselves.

October 4, 2012 - 3:00 pmDemocracy? Mr Heywood, do we

Will Yamakva SAID...

Democracy?

Mr Heywood, do we vote on EVERY single item that is before our government? No. Why should this be any different.

On that note, have you horsemen voted on ways to improve the game for us racing fans? Right now, its good for those that know how to bet, but not those that might want to learn the game. Should we vote on the way to improve that as well?

October 4, 2012 - 2:20 pmJust another ploy to calm the

Don Patrick SAID...

Just another ploy to calm the natives. Dangle a carrot, and hope that everyone quietly sits by and waits for a fair outcome.

The reality is MGM could own 2 Toronto casinos.

October 4, 2012 - 2:06 pmAnd there you have it... Just

chris bush SAID...

And there you have it... Just days ago I asked how the OLG and liberal government were going to team up to circumvent the process to get their way and now you know. No wonder they were acting like a casino was a forgone conclusion. Isn't it ironic the city that elected the liberals will now have to tolerate an unwanted casino shoved down their throats.

October 4, 2012 - 1:43 pmI received the following

I received the following e-mail from Lisa MacLeod, the MPP from Nepean-Carleton, requesting the help of those interested in saving the horse racing industry and preventing the OLG from putting casinos in municipalities of their choosing. The individuals she has recommended contacting are listed within the e-mail.

"As you know, the McGuinty Liberals and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation want to end horseracing in our province. The Liberals and the OLG want to cancel the successful partnership of the Slots at Racetracks (SAR) program that contributes over a $1 Billion in revenue for Ontario, so it can bring US Style casinos into our communities. This will come at a tremendous cost to Ontarians.

We know for example, cancelling the SAR will take $1.2 Billion from wagering out of the economy, 60,000 jobs will be lost and 13,000 horses will be killed. According to the Windsor Star, the OLG lost $46 Million at casinos in Windsor and Niagara in 2010 and on top of that, in recent years the Auditor General has admonished the OLG for employee spending scandals and mismanagement. If the Liberals and the OLG get their way we taxpayers could be on the hook for this failed experiment- not to mention the likely human costs expanded and accessible gaming will have on mental health and addictions in our communities.

This hits close to home. The Rideau Carleton Raceway is in Nepean-Carleton. It employs over 1,000 Ottawa residents both directly and indirectly through breeding, racing, veterinary services, boarding, farming, hospitality, security and the slots itself. The RCR is important to our rural economy and to our local agriculture sector. Now the City of Ottawa is paving the way for a downtown casino. Not only will the cancellation of the SAR cripple the RCR, but a downtown casino will seal its fate.

Many in the legislature share my concerns. That is why both MPP Monte McNaughton's bill to hold referendums before new casinos are built and why my motion calling for the Auditor General to review OLG's radical shift in gaming both passed with members from all parties supporting them! But more needs to be done, and this is where your help comes in. You can email:

Jim McCarter:[email protected] Ontario's Auditor asking for him to begin the casino review the Legislature asked for.

John Milloy: [email protected] Liberal Government House Leader asking him to call Monte McNaugton's bill on casino referendums for 3rd reading so it can finally become law.

Jim Watson: [email protected] Mayor of Ottawa asking him to have an open and transparent process that includes citizens and an independent review before making a decision on a new casino.

60,000 jobs, a viable and profitable system of gaming and the lives of 13,000 horses are at stake. I hope I can count on your support and that you will answer this call to action. Lisa MacLeod."

October 4, 2012 - 1:01 pmI don't remember Godfrey &

Ian Dow SAID...

I don't remember Godfrey & the rest of the bully's at the OLG ever be elected to make decision for us!

October 4, 2012 - 1:00 pmThe olg gambling zones have

The olg gambling zones have always put two casinos in the GTA. Woodbine and downtown Toronto are not in the same zone. The only competition would be in reference to size(only one can be"up to 5000 slots"). Looking at the zone maps, not using Woodbine would be lunacy (but then again...) As for the Libs imposing a casino on the downtown area, they could, but come the next election, you wouldn't be able to find a Liberal MPP this side of Jupiter, maybe even further. Of course, that may happen anyway. We can only hope.

October 4, 2012 - 12:23 pmInteresting that the minister

Bobbi Morley SAID...

Interesting that the minister can override city bylaws.... no, it's absolutely frightening. This government is going to have to be held accountable once we have been sold out to Pansy Ho and her Asian relatives. McGuinty et al may get rich off this scheme initaily, but down the road, they will be denounced as the most corrupt and inept governemnt in the history of Canada, let alone Ontario. We have been under the "leadership' of a dictator.

October 4, 2012 - 12:02 pmTalk about dictatorship and

Bev Heywood SAID...

Talk about dictatorship and strongarm force... we dont have to go to another country to experience it. The last paragraph of this report shows it is right here in our own country ! What happened to Democracy and the peoples voice ?

October 4, 2012 - 11:39 amJust another OLG (Liberal)

Randy Young SAID...

Just another OLG (Liberal) ploy to pressure Toronto into going along with a downtown Casino.
The OLG is basically saying that if their Gaming Strategy plans for Toronto don't go the way they'd like ... then they will back track on totally destroying Ontario's Horse Race Industry because they have no other choice ... they would lose all the gambling revenue from the GTA.


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