Jul 24, 2017

By Jane Brown

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Toronto Area gambling sites are set to go private.

Within a few weeks, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation will select a business to run its casino and thousands of slot machines in the GTA for the next 20 years. By outsourcing gambling, the agency says its goal is to put more money in provincial coffers while offloading the costs of upgrading and replacing aging casino buildings and equipment.

The process has attracted foreign casino operators who’ve been drawn by the promise of more gambling and quick profit in the thriving Toronto region.

A Globe and Mail report says at least 3 companies are in the final round to take over the gambling at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack, Ajax Downs and the Great Blue Heron Casino in Port Perry. These are said to be Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, American-based Caesars Entertainment and Malaysian conglomerate Genting Group.

The sale would allow a private operator to rebuild the three sites as full fledged casinos and add a fourth gambling establishment. These are changes which would require municipal approvals.

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