Tim Leiweke is the incoming President and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), and will officially take over the role at the beginning of June. However, Leiweke wasted no time planting his flag on the organization after dismissing Bryan Colangelo as GM of the Toronto Raptors yesterday.
No more bets on the Toronto casino – the votes are now in. Toronto city council concluded a special debate today with a vote on whether to approve a casino within the OLG’s C1 Gaming Zone, the downtown Toronto location, and C2, the region north of the core including the Woodbine Racetrack.
PokerStars lost its bet on the Atlantic Club casino in New Jersey. Judge Raymond Batten ruled that the Atlantic City casino is free to accept purchase bids from other companies in its fight to avoid bankruptcy and foreclosure. The ruling is a significant setback for PokerStars, which hoped to use the Atlantic Club as a launch pad for the newly legalized online gambling market in New Jersey.
The new OLG casino revenue sharing agreement announced last week was overshadowed by the firing of Paul Godfrey as Chairman of Ontario’s gaming body. However, the revenue agreement resulted in outright rejections in Toronto, while other communities are asking for answers to more questions, such as Ottawa.
Paul Godfrey was let go from his position as OLG Chairman on May 16, which led to the resignation of the entire OLG Board of Governors. The organization was in the middle of a massive modernization and gambling expansion process, but is now without leaders or direction to complete the transition.
The city of Toronto went through a tough week, and could experience an equally tumultuous time next week. Allegations that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught on video smoking crack from a pipe drowned out the mayor’s earlier decision to cancel a special council meeting on the OLG casino, scheduled for May 21. However, that meeting is likely to proceed regardless of Ford’s declaration that “the debate is dead.”
The OLG gaming modernization strategy appeared to collapse under its own weight yesterday. OLG Chairman Paul Godfrey was let go from his position by the Ontario government only hours after Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced the city’s casino debate is “dead.”
Only days remain before Toronto city council finally decides the fate of the proposed OLG casino, which would be located either at Exhibition Place or the Metro Convention Centre. But the odds are stacking further against pro-casino lobbyists, including Mayor Rob Ford, as once undecided councilors are speaking out against the proposal.
The Ontario government is moving ahead with the OLG modernization strategy, but the new government leaders are revamping some pieces of the strategy, including extending support for Ontario’s beleaguered horseracing industry. Premier Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa stated that candidates are under consideration to replace OLG Chairman Paul Godfrey.
The decision on a downtown Toronto casino is expected to be settled at a city council meeting on May 21. But the OLG selected the downtown region as one viable location for a casino, and the northwestern regions of the GTA as a second viable location. The Woodbine racetrack, established in Etobicoke nearby Pearson International Airport, is quietly vying for the rights to what Torontonians identify as the ‘second casino zone.’
In the Toronto-Boston NHL playoff series, redemption seems to be the word of play for the young Maple Leafs roster. The Leafs were the undisputed underdogs going into the first round against the more experienced, and physically stronger Bruins roster. But in a remarkable test of resilience and creativity, the Leafs forced the Bruins into a surprising Game 7 where it becomes anyone’s game.
Many Canadian cities are debating the pros and cons of investing in privatized casinos, but south of the border, Americans are recognizing the value of online casinos. The US stood firmly against legalized online gambling for years, and passed the Unlawful Internet Betting Act in 2006 to symbolize that opposition.
Canada crowned a new World Poker Tour champion this week at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal. Amir Babakhani crushed the final table to win the Canadian Spring Championship leg of the tour, capturing the top prize of $442,248, along with a $25,000 stake in the WPT World Championship at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas later this month.
Tim Horton’s created Roll Up The Rim To Win to honour their most loyal coffee lovers, which is an annual contest Canadians look forward to every season. This summer, Canada’s favourite coffee chain launched a new contest for Iced Capp lovers, called ‘Chill To Win.’
Toronto is preparing to finalize the OLG casino debate as part of a scheduled vote on May 21. Councilors are divided over the casino proposal, while Toronto residents are equally conflicted over the proposal. The ongoing controversy is increasing calls to delay the council vote, and instead open the proposal to a city-wide referendum.
NDP MP Brian Masse, the lead sponsor of Canada’s sportsbetting bill dubbed Bill C-290, is staging a last ditch effort to get the legislation passed into law. Masse pleaded his case within the House of Commons yesterday by demanding the Conservative government convince its own appointed Senators to stop holding up the legislation.
When the shortened NHL season began, the Vancouver Canucks were the one Canadian team favoured to win the Stanley Cup. However, the team was unable to live up to the organization’s expectations despite finishing the season at the top of the Northwest Division. Vancouver’s playoff performance has proven all but disastrous as the team hovers on the brink of elimination, which is increasing pressure to implement changes within the organization.
PartyPoker returned to the Playground Poker Club in Montreal this weekend to kick off the 2013 World Poker Tour Canadian Spring Championship. The tournament began with three consecutive opening rounds that lasted from May 3 through May 5, and ended with 735 players anteing up to go all in.
One of the many inconsistencies with the Toronto Maple Leafs is the team’s constant dance with the good, the bad, and the ugly line of play. The team opened their first playoff series in nine years with a humiliating performance in Boston that left many fans and sports bettors wondering if the team was ready for primetime. However, the Leafs seemed to settle their nerves in the second game, and gave an impressive performance to come home even in the series.
The future of the OLG proposed Toronto casino will be decided after a special city council meeting on May 21. Several councilors support the casino; others are vehemently opposed to the proposal, while the remaining undecided voters hold the balance of power.
Earlier this week, a bid submitted by PokerStars to purchase the Atlantic Club casino was pulled off the table, according to spokespeople at the casino. Despite the setback, the online poker room remains committed to its plans to purchase a casino, and enter the newly legalized New Jersey online gambling market.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford decided that May 21 will be the day city councilors debate the merits of the proposed OLG casino. The council discussion will conclude over a year of informal debates, consultations, and public feedback that will determine the future of gambling in Toronto.
The Toronto Maple Leafs step into the playoff rounds tonight for the first time in nine years, who will at last end the longest playoff drought in franchise history. The Leafs are facing off against one of their toughest opponents in the Boston Bruins, who were Stanley Cup winners two years ago. The pressure will be particularly hard on Toronto forward, and sniper Phil Kessel, whose trade to Toronto from Boston remains a scar with deep roots.