Potential Toronto casino partners MGM Resorts International and Cadillac Fairview have kicked up their campaign by launching a website outlining their plans for a gaming, convention and entertainment complex at Exhibition Place.
The site, mgmcf.com, outlines the vision for the proposed “integrated resort,” and lists job creation expectations and discusses concerns about casinos and crime.
“MGM Resorts and The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited are well-positioned to write the next chapter for this historical site,” the site says of the proposed Exhibition Place location.
“With the development of an Integrated Resort complex, the site will attract one million new visitors to Toronto annually, provide the city with millions of dollars per year in new revenue streams, and create up to 10,000 new jobs locally.”
MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren made his pitch to build in Toronto in January, promising a Cirque du Soleil show, thousands of new union jobs and top-notch cuisine created by renowned local chef Mark McEwan. Murren said gaming would occupy 10 per cent of the resort’s total floor space and estimates the project would cost between $2 billion and $4 billion to build.
The head of Las Vegas Sands also came to Toronto to outline his vision for a resort. Michael Leven said he wants to build at the Metro Convention Centre.
Last month, the city wrapped up a series of public consultations on a proposed casino. City council is expected to make a final decision in April.
Mayor Rob Ford has said he approves of a casino and said he’d like to see one built in the Port Lands or at Exhibition Place.
“I don’t know how people can refuse $150 million or $200 million of revenue and 10,000 good-paying jobs. I don’t see how they can say no to that,” he said earlier this month.
“I just wouldn’t want to lose it to Vaughan or Mississauga.”
Toronto’s Board of Health recently reaffirmed its position against building a casino in Toronto.
“As concluded in the previous report, increases in problem gambling are the most important health impacts of a new casino in Toronto,” a board report states. “With respect to all other potential impacts, the available evidence indicates that the introduction of a new casino is likely to have greater adverse health-related impacts than beneficial impacts.”
On the MGM-Cadillac Fairview casino site, they tout MGM’s “lead role in promoting responsible gaming.”