With the Toronto municipal election underway, residents are placing their bets on which mayoral candidate will be in the mayor’s chair after October 27. The campaign is expected to discuss a variety of topics and issues important to the future of Toronto, including a proposal to resurrect the casino debate.
Toronto city council voted against the OLG casino proposal last spring in a decisive 40-4 vote. But several residents of the city along with many mayoral candidates – chief among them incumbent Rob Ford, support putting the casino question on the ballot for the voters to have their official say.
But Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls, is against the Toronto casino question being placed on the ballot. Diodati believes a casino in Toronto would be “dire” for the Niagara Falls gambling sector, which revolves around business at the city’s two casinos – Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino.
“It would result in the loss of upwards of 2,000 jobs and we’ve already pointed this out to the province.”
Many of the tourists that gamble at the Niagara casinos travel from other parts of Ontario, including Toronto and the surrounding GTA. Tourists are what keep the casinos in business, and provide over 4,000 jobs to people across the community who are connected to the gambling sector.
But if a casino were to be built in Toronto, people located north or west of Lake Ontario will likely choose the GTA casino over Niagara Falls, according to Diodati who admits he is also frustrated that Toronto is being given many chances to reignite the casino proposal.
“Niagara Falls is the only jurisdiction that has given a unanimous resolution welcoming them into our community and welcoming further expansion.”