Last week, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced that Ontario Place would not be an ideal location for the new GTA casino. While you would normally think that is a setback for the development of the new casino, OLG Chairman Paul Godfrey does not believe that the revelation will hinder the plans for the potential construction of a casino at Ontario Place. He has already lined up several alternatives for the location of the new casino, including Exhibition Place, Woodbine and Port Lands.
While Godfrey is not majorly concerned about the elimination of Ontario Place from the list of potential locations, it may come as a hindrance to international gambling operators. For example, MGM will not be pleased to know that the Ontario Place is no longer an option for the casino, as the company deemed to have its heart set on opening a casino on Toronto’s scenic waterfront. Wynn is another American company that was previously interested in Ontario Place as Toronto’s new casino, but the company may not be on board if the option is eliminated.
However, Paul Godfrey and the rest of the development team were never banking on the location. All the time, they had been considering plenty of options; it was just the local media that highlighted Ontario Place, jumping on the news of the potential casino construction shortly after the park closed earlier this year.
"It’s not considered a setback at all, because the hype on the site was set in the media,” says Godfrey. “Not by those of us that were looking at potential sites".
While clearing this up, Godfrey also took the time to further explain his plans for the new GTA casino. He has announced that the actual casino component will take up less than 10% of the actual site. Being a casino complex, the local will host a number of other luxury services, such as hotels, bars, restaurants and other forms of entertainment that local residents and tourists can indulge in. As such, Godfrey does not believe that there should be as much opposition to the casino as has previously arisen.
So, Paul Godfrey and the OLG will continue scouting out locations as planned. They will continue moving forward, despite the news of Ontario Place’s inappropriate location for the casino.