Toronto City Council has now voted in favour of a community welfare agreement allowing gambling expansion at rexdale racetracks and an application for a zoning change. Lawmakers approved a large-scale project by Ontario Gaming GTA, designed to transform its purebred and standard breed racing facility, Woodbine Racecourse, into a full-fledged casino, hotel and entertainment complex.
After two days of discussing an ambitious project, lawmakers approved a zoning and planning application for Woodbine Racecourse located in the Toronto area of Rexdale, formerly Etobycock. Earlier, Etobycock and the York Community Committee voted in favor of casino expansion and recommended Toronto officials give approval as hosting costs are expected to be more than $30 million a year. Currently, the city receives about $16 million a year as part of its racetrack revenue. But when the new casino complex is fully operational, it will have to generate more revenue and provide an additional $15 million to the city’s finances.
At Thursday’s meeting, lawmakers also voted 26-15 in favor of a regional welfare agreement with Ontario Gaming Greater Toronto Area Limited (Ontario Gaming GTA Ltd.), the casino’s developer and future operator. The consortium is actually a partnership between Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, one of Canada’s largest gambling companies, and Brookfield Business Partners LP. Under the agreement, at least 40% of all new casino employees will be employed locally, and 10% or more of the construction hours will be done by local apprentices or travelers.
A local group called Toronto Community Benefits Network says the agreement between the city and private operators also includes a requirement that at least half of all jobs be full-time. In addition, the agreement provides a $5 million investment to develop daycare centers for employees to use. The extended time should match the time of casino workers. The Convention also mentions strict liability measures, so the city can ensure that casinos make substantial contributions to the community, and that all requirements for benefits are met. 바카라
The proposed gaming facility will be more than a casino, Michael Ford said before Thursday’s vote. According to him, the huge project, which includes hotels, retail, and entertainment venues, will actually transform the city’s northwest region. The casino will be part of a large complex with restaurants, shops and office space. It will probably include a 5,000-seat event and concert arena to be built next to the racetrack.
The expansion of game delivery is an important part of this project. Woodbine Casino, now an off-racing slot location, has dozens of virtual poker, blackjack and roulette games, as well as approximately 3,000 electronic games for over 2,500 slot machines. The expanded facility will accommodate approximately 5,000 slot machines and virtual table games and will provide 300 live dealer tables to customers for the first time.
But as County Councilman John Fillion explained, gambling can be extremely harmful to some people. This is why the city should try to extract “all the benefits of the community.” Ford said the full master plan should not just be viewed as a gambling destination, but as a large-scale development that gives Toronto the opportunity to leverage its investment “over the next few years.” He believes this is essential for the lives and well-being of Rexdale residents.