CasiYES Tops CasiNO

“I think this is a slam dunk,” says John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos Reid in a National Post article yesterday.

This?

A casino in Toronto.

“Unless something incredible happens,” Mr. Wright continues, “the debate for the most part is over.”

In other words, according to the Ipsos Reid poll, for 906 people (presumably residents of Toronto) this has happened:

A Toronto casino will create jobs. How many? Thousands and thousands. Maybe even 10,000. Maybe. What kind of jobs? Full and part time. Maybe even union jobs. How much money in revenue will Toronto get for hosting a casino? Millions and millions. Maybe even $400 million a year according to no robust examination whatsoever. Why not $500 million if we simply float a boat in the lake, claims one pro-casino councillor who shall remain nameless although who else could it be? Where will this casino be? Ummm… What’s your answer first? We got preferences but let’s not decide on such an important factor until we know if a casinos coming or not.

I know this is going to come across as just another anti-casino screed. Truth be told, I am neither here nor there on the concept of casinos. They rarely serve as a destination of choice for me. gamblingThat doesn’t mean I don’t think others should have the opportunity to do so if they wish.

The deleterious effects of gambling as a reason for not building a casino in town leaves me equally cold. It is moralistic in tone and opens up the argument that the government should not be in the business of or profit from any activity that is harmful to a segment of society. Prohibition anyone? How’s that war of drugs been working out for us?

As our friend over on Twitter, @lifeonqueen, said, “…it symbolizes the immorality of using casinos as a tax substitute.” Now we’re getting to the meat of the argument. Governments preying on our more self-indulgent (and worse) natures instead of engaging fully with us about the necessity of proper taxation. Delivering the appearance of getting something for nothing.

And, according to the results of this online poll, a solid majority have bought into it.gambling1

From what I can tell, the city is being pressured into a yes-or-not vote with the details to be worked out later. We all know the devil is in the details, yet we’re essentially willing to sign off on a blank document. Who does that except for the extremely desperate? Why are we so desperate?

My two biggest concerns about this situation are money and location.

How much money, directly and indirectly, will end up in the city’s coffers when this is said and done? So far, the numbers have been vague. Vague, vague, vague. At this point, we’re can’t even be sure if it’ll end up costing the city more to have a casino than what we take in. gambling2That’s, what would you call it? A gamble.

Location is almost as important in this equation. To not have the ultimate say in where a casino would be is really not being an equal partner in the decision. Putting an inward looking edifice which a casino is along the waterfront, bringing cars downtown to fill its 10,000 parking spaces is an absolute deal breaker for me. I can’t see where’d there be any amount of money offered up in return for that.

Now, I would seriously consider a casino up at Woodbine. Remember Woodbine Live? Proof during the 2010 mayoral campaign that Rob Ford knew how to work with the private sector. It was supposed to look like this. In fact, it looks like this.

It’s a prime placement for some serious economic development especially for an automobile-oriented enterprise like this casino’s supposed to be. The decision seems a no-brainer to me if we’re going the casino route, if, when all the facts and figures are in, it makes fiscal sense for the city.gambling3

But we’re so far away from that kind of detailed discussion right now. Yes or No should be just a starting point with more than a few opt out escape hatches built in. No, but… Yes, if… That’s the level of discussion we need to have before getting down to the nitty gritty.

Right now, we’re just being asked to cross our fingers and trust a group of people who in no way has earned that trust that everything’s going to work out just fine for everyone concerned. Win-win-win.

You wouldn’t buy a water heater for you house under those stipulations. Why on earth would we consent to building a casino that way?

odds on-ly submitted by Cityslikr

5 Responses to CasiYES Tops CasiNO

  1. OMERS invests in infrastructure and transit elsewhere. How is it that pensioners whose fund was created from local dollars will not invest in transit for local use ??

    • Sonny says:

      I think I saw you at last Saturdays consultation where I mentioned we were being intimidated by “Evil Corporations” who want to impose a Casino on Toronto.

      Wright is a pro Ford Conservative

      Next Thu. Jan. 31 is
      A Casino In Downtown Toronto? WTF?!? TOpoli Community panel discussion on the economic benefits and social costs of a casino, with architect Ken Greenberg, councillor Adam Vaughan and others. 6 pm. $10 or pwyc. Tranzac 292 Brunswick, topoli.ca

  2. Simon Says says:

    A monorail and a Ferris wheel and a casino would be sexy!!!

  3. Darren says:

    Torontonians opposed to the casino should take a page from recent developments in BC where Surrey just defeated a similar ploy to bring a casino to their jurisdiction:

    Maybe spread the word? Here’s some arsenal:

    http://nocasinosurrey.org/

    http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/BC/ID/2325667303/?page=4&sort=Mo..

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/21/diane-watts-south-surrey-casino_n_2523726.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia

  4. murraycr says:

    The fix is definitely in and there’s money to be made for lots of people so to hell with the consequences. If Ipsos Reid with its connections to major corporations with vested interest in a casino has conducted a survey that says the majority want a casino then it couldn’t possibly be false could it? I’d like to see the questions that were asked in order to elicit the ‘yes’ response.

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