Ontario Has Found An Answer That Might Revive Their Gambling Markets
In Canada, gambling laws are left up to the provinces. While some provinces have been shown to be against gambling, Ontario seems to embrace it entirely. The province has recently been courting international gambling companies for the right candidate to hand over their gambling operations to. They are looking to create a new wave of gambling profits and the international operators are who they think will be able to cause a stir.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) has been tasked with this endeavor to find a reputable company to take over their casinos along with thousands of slot machines in the greater Toronto area. The contract would run for the next 20 years which has engrossed some of the biggest names in international gambling. So far, there are three companies known to have expressed an interest. According to the Globe and Mail, the companies making bids are Caesar’s Entertainment, which is American based, a Canadian company, Brookfield Asset Management, and a Malaysian conglomerate called Genting Group. They will be vying for the rights to take over the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, The Blue Heron and Ajax Downs. The changes will not affect the licensed offshore gambling sites that provide betting services to Canadian players.
There are a couple of reasons why the OLG is so interested in doing this. There has been ever increasing forms of competition in the international and American markets of gambling and the OLG has seen a plateau in revenues with the limited gambling choices that have been made available in Ontario. The province has been doing business with outdated equipment, old buildings, and even older ideas on the gambling industry in Canada. On top of this, the OLG feels as if the gambling population of Toronto is largely underserved and they see potential in the market there for real tax money to the province.
With this deal, they will not only be able to fill provincial coffers but they will also be able to outsource the cost of upgrading and replacing the existing gambling establishments. It functions as a win-win situation to both the province and the company bidding for the gambling rights to the region. The company who wins the bid is estimated to make a minimum of $72 million a year for the 20+ years of the deal.
It seems the largest golden egg in the deal for these companies is the Woodbine Racetrack located near a heavy tourist area in the north end of the city. Its directly situated near the Toronto Pearson International Airport. This is Canada’s busiest airport and one of its most congested strips of highway 401. Its hypothesized that the right gambling operator could move in and renovate the gambling site with a newer and more modern casino on top of the Woodbine Racetrack given the right municipality.