MGM took another step forward to receive licensing for the Toronto casino if city council approves the venture. The Las Vegas based company has partnered with Cadillac Fairview, one of Canada’s largest office real estate companies, to develop the MGM’s proposed casino designs. MGM CEO Jim Murren was in Toronto earlier this month to lobby support for the casino venture, and indicated Exhibition Place – one of the locations under debate – is MGM’s preferred location for their venture.
The agreement with Cadillac Fairview gives MGM a partner with property development experience in Canada’s largest city. The affiliation also provides MGM a slight edge over competing rivals, notably Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands Corporation – both companies have aggressively lobbied for the rights to the Toronto casino, and have submitted designs of their own for the development.
The site would include hotel, retail, and conference space in addition to the casino. There will also be an entertainment centre that will serve as permanent host to Cirque du Soleil Toronto shows, along with a restaurant managed by Mark McEwan – one of Toronto’s finest chefs who also serves as a judge on many food programs.
Cadillac Fairview President John Sullivan released a statement regarding the partnership with MGM in which he indicated his organization has been interested in the casino development for some time. While Cadillac will lobby city council to approve the casino, Sullivan said Cadillac and MGM will respect whatever decision Toronto makes.
“We look forward to working with city officials and community stakeholders in support of Council’s decision on the optimal site for an integrated resort, and to maximize its benefits to the city through a fair and competitive process.”
The agreement comes on the heels of three of Toronto’s ex-mayors issuing a letter to current Mayor Rob Ford lobbying against the casino. MGM’s news also follows the city’s public consultation meetings where citizens were invited to express their opinions in-person and online about the OLG casino proposal. The meeting results will be tabled into a report that will be submitted to Ford’s casino sub-committee in March. City council is expected to vote on the casino shortly thereafter.