May 28, 2013
Political games obstruct Nevada business interest in Canada
A downtown Toronto resort complex that attracted the interest of Nevada’s largest casino operators appeared dead Friday after the city’s mayor canceled a vote scheduled for next week on the multi-billion dollar development.
In a City Hall news conference Thursday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the key backer of a single hotel-casino complex, said he was halting the planned vote, which many analysts had predicted would go against the gaming development.
Gaming giants MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Inc., Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts, Limited, had all expressed interest in building and operating the downtown Toronto integrated resort complex.
The companies all committed development money to the effort and representatives all traveled to Toronto to pitch their ideas and meet with city and province officials.
Caesars Entertainment had proposed a casino and resort development along Front Street. Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Jan Jones said the company’s project would have created more than 10,000 jobs and would have been a catalyst for redeveloping the city’s convention center.
March 19, 2013
Wynn Looks to Expand Its Casino Base with High-Luxe Toronto Resort
A Las Vegas-based gaming company has sent a letter to Toronto’s city manager expressing its interest in building a luxury casino-resort.
Much of the public debate on this issue has centered around a false choice between an outdated big-box slots model and no casino, Gamal Aziz, president and COO of Wynn Resorts Development, wrote in a two-page letter.
I am writing you to make it clear that we would offer another option, Aziz wrote. That is to create a luxury resort and spa experience that will confirm Toronto as a major global tourist and convention destination, one that will integrate seamlessly into the urban fabric of the city while standing out as an architectural asset.
The letter was sent March 4. A copy was obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday. Aziz said Wynn Resorts would work closely with the city to find an appropriate location.
February 5, 2013
MGM Resorts International entered into a partnership with a Canadian real estate developer to bid on, build and operate a hotel-casino complex in downtown Toronto.
In a statement, MGM Resorts Chairman Jim Murren said the 50/50 joint venture with The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd. gives the Las Vegas-based casino giant a partner with extensive Canadian development experience.
In Cadillac Fairview we are partnering with the industry leader in developing high quality properties across North America and a company with whom we share a common vision for the development of an iconic integrated resort in Toronto,” Murren said.
MGM Resorts, along with Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Caesars Entertainment Corp., are exploring a potential casino development in Toronto. The Ontario Lottery Corp. has selected Toronto, Canadas largest city, for a single casino destination. But the concept still needs the approval of city leaders and residents.
January 29, 2013
It's looking optimistic, but cast of characters stand in way of hometown billions
Toronto’s my adopted hometown. I’ve lived here off and on since I came to the University of Toronto for law school in 1993. Toronto has a lot going for it: great restaurants for a city of its size, wonderful family activities and amenities available, and mostly a clean and highly liveable place. It also has horrible traffic and transit and decaying infrastructure. It’s not Chicago or New York City, which really bothers Canadians in general and Torontonians in particular, but all in all, it’s a wonderful place to live.
One thing that Toronto doesn’t have is a casino. We have Woodbine Racetrack out in Etobicoke, which has some slots, we have gaming during the CNE in late summer, and we have a thriving underground poker scene. The casinos in Niagara Falls and Rama aren’t too far. Internet gaming is everywhere, and heavily advertised. But Toronto doesn’t have a full-fledged resort casino like those in Vegas, or even like the casion property in Montreal.
I think odds are good that that will soon change. It’s by no means a certainty, but the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG — the provincial lottery monopoly) wants to develop a casino in downtown Toronto. This is a creating a big and growing debate here. In spite of the attention being generated by the ‘no’ side, I don’t think that Toronto will pass on the economic benefits that a casino property in the city stands to generate, nor do I think that it should pass on it.
November 19, 2012
Experts eye Canadian metropolis as ripe for Big Casinos
A study by UNLV’s International Gaming Institute concluded a resort complex featuring a hotel, casino, convention space and other entertainment amenities in the heart of Toronto could stimulate the economy of Canada’s largest city.
Instead of cannibalizing the market, the complex would spur growth for any surrounding businesses.
Meanwhile, the worldwide accounting firm Ernst & Young found that Toronto could collect almost $200 million a year from a casino complex in the form of tax revenues, on top of a one-time sale or lease of city-owned land.
So it wasn’t a surprise last week that Toronto city leaders, following the public release of the two reports, decided to ask residents if they favor a casino.
It’s also no wonder that Caesars Entertainment Corp. Senior Vice President Jan Jones and MGM Resorts Senior Vice President Alan Feldman are bumping into each other more often in Toronto than on the Strip.
Nevada’s biggest casino companies view Toronto as the industry’s next major battleground.
“It’s truly a potential destination we can’t ignore,” Jones said.