How will a casino at Woodbine impact Niagara's gaming future?
We can all co-exist together.
That's the reaction from the OLG following the announcement that Woodbine will be getting a casino.
Niagara politicians have been concerned about the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's new plan for gaming in the province saying adding another casino so close to the region will impact business at Casino Niagara and Fallsview Niagara.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming making the announcement today that it has selected Great Canadian Gaming and Brookfield Business Partners to run its casinos in the Greater Toronto Area.
Under the deal, Great Canadian and Brookfield would acquire O-L-G Slots at Woodbine, O-L-G Slots at Ajax Downs and also in Port Perry.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa says he expects it means a casino will be established at Woodbine.
The two companies would also have the exclusive right to operate the casinos for a minimum of 22 years.
For years Toronto area residents who wanted to gamble had to make the trip to Niagara Falls or north of Orillia to Casino Rama.
The OLG's Tony Bitonti tells CKTB's Larry Fedoruk there's plenty of demand for all casinos to co-exist.
Bitonti says this move is not meant to take away from any establishment, it's meant to fill gaps in the market.
Councillor Wayne Thompson joined us with reaction saying it is tough news to swallow.
He says this is news they have been dreading for years and they fought hard but lost the battle today.
Thompson says luckily Niagara has much more to offer than just casinos.
He is concerned about job losses at the casinos, and this will have an impact no matter what.
Mayor Jim Diodati has said he fears the OLG's plan will cost 1400 casino workers their jobs in Niagara.
It is expected that the announcement at Woodbine will create 5000 positions.
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