Not Everyone Is Happy with Woodbine Casino Plan

Publish: 15.08.2017

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has chosen Great Canadian Gaming and partner Brookfield to operate the gaming facilities in the Great Toronto Area which also includes the Woodbine casino.

Union Concerns

The newly-selected operators are expected to build a ‘city within a city’ in Woodbine and make it into one of the most desirable casino locations in Canada but such ambitious plans are not to everyone’s liking.

The Union which represents 400 workers at the Woodbine Slots. PSAC, Local 533 expressed its concerns over OLG’s decision to go with private companies as operators that are expected to turn Woodbine into the Hard Rock Cafe Casino, as is suggested.

The Union president Theo Lagakos believes the new deal did not benefit the taxpayers and is already mentioning things like ‘public inquiry’ and ‘full debate’ in the legislature expressing his fears over the fact these negotiations were done in secret.

In contrast, Councillors Vincent Crisanti and Michael Ford praised the new casino concept, whereas Mayor John Tory insisted that any new developments must focus on creating job opportunities and boost tourism for the city.

Monopoly Arrangement?

Lack of transparency behind the deal, however, remains the biggest concern for Lagakos who claims Premier Kathleen Wynne threw workers under the bus with her decision to approve the deal that incorporates three casinos in the Greater Toronto Area.

Lagakos is concerned many workers would lose their jobs with the new contractors obliged to keep things as is for just one year. Lagakos argues that Wynne made this decision so swiftly to make sure it goes through before the election to strengthen her position.

Theo Lagakos also branded the 22-year deal a ‘monopoly’ arrangement which will give those in charge money they need to balance their budgets and with a finger in the pie, making it impossible for others to compete with them.