Casino idea folds

It is „no dice“ for a casino in Toronto, an idea firmly squashed yesterday by both Mayor David Miller and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

At city hall, several councillors urged the mayor-controlled executive committee to look into the feasibility of a Toronto-owned gambling operation, in part to raise revenue.

After a brief, heated debate, the committee killed the request put forward by Councillor Cesar Palacio (Ward 17, Davenport), who is not a member of the executive.

„We should explore every opportunity,“ he said, arguing that the city has „nothing to lose“ by considering the revenue potential of a casino.

But Mr. Miller, backed by his allies on the committee, said the city has no power to set up its own gambling operation and, in any case, would receive almost no share of potential revenues.

He noted that Woodbine Racetrack, with betting and slot machines, generates about CAD 400-million a year for the province, but only CAD 15-million flows to the city.

Speaking to reporters while campaigning for the Oct. 10 provincial election, Premier Dalton McGuinty said his government had carried out a review of casinos in 2003.

„The position we’ve taken is that there will not be an expansion of new casinos,“ Mr. McGuinty said. „That remains our position.“