Toronto City Council will have to wait a little longer before exercising their final say on whether the city will host a casino or not.
A highly anticipated report prepared for Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee was not released as planned, a spokeswoman said, while the city continues in discussions with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation over their respective shares of the casino’s potential revenues.
The staff report, requested by the committee in November, will consider the pros and cons of a casino in the city’s downtown and also the expansion of the existing gaming facilities at Woodbine racetrack. It also will include the results of public consultations held earlier this year on the casino question.
A key issue will be how much the city will gain from hosting a casino. The OLG has estimated that amount at C$50 million-$100 million.
A new casino in the Toronto metropolitan area is part of a plan by the OLG to expand tax revenues for the financially strapped province by scrapping slots at racetracks and opening the industry up to a casino-centric model run by private companies.
Ford favors a casino for the money and jobs it would bring, but support from a majority of councillors is far from a sure thing.
The casino’s opponents were quick to characterize the delay as a political tactic by the mayor’s office to try to negotiate a more favorable revenue split for the city.