UPDATE: Questions About a Big Toronto Casino Pay-Out
Everyone behind the push for a Toronto casino is willing to throw anything behind the initiative.
That's from NDP MPP Taras Natyshak, who made the comments after the OLG admitted Toronto would receive more cash if it decides to put a gaming facility in the city.
OLG CEO Rod Phillips tells Newstalk 1010 that Toronto would get between $50-$100 million in hosting fees. It would not follow the same formula used to calculate the annual pay-out for other cities because of the huge investment from the private sector.
Phillips says if investors want to spend $2-3 billion dollars to potentially build a gaming facility in another city, the OLG will make similar hosting fee projections.
However, Natyshak says he believes the big number is because the OLG was feeling pressure from all sides, making a Toronto casino more a more lucrative investment for city council to give the green light . He points to not only those who don't want a casino in Toronto but also other gaming facilities in the province who stand to lose money if a new facility opens up.
The NDP wants to put a pause on OLG expansion until impacts on every area of the province can be revealed.
PC MPP Jane McKenna says she doesn't want to speculate on the issue but underlines 29 new gaming facilities in the province won't help the economy.
Premier Kathleen Wynne issued a statement on the matter late Friday afternoon:
“The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is in the midst of exploring additional opportunities for casinos in Ontario. Some news stories today are suggesting that Toronto is going to get a special deal, with regard to hosting fees.
In light of these stories, I would like to reiterate the new Ontario government’s expectations as to what will happen with casino expansion.
First off, there will be no special deal for Toronto in connection with any proposed casino development. The approach OLG is taking in Toronto with regard to hosting fees will be the same as the approach being used in other parts of Ontario. The hosting fee for Toronto would reflect the size and scale that global gaming companies have confirmed is possible in the city. If the same capital investment and job potential are possible elsewhere, the same hosting fees would be generated.
While a lot of attention has been focused on Toronto, OLG is intent on expanding casino opportunities to a number of regions in Ontario. The underserved markets of North Bay, Kenora, Collingwood-Wasaga Beach and Belleville-Quinte, are currently being considered for development.
My government will ensure that all regions of the province will benefit from OLG modernization.”