Today's announcement by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) paves the way for the advancement of new and expanded casino developments in Toronto and Durham Region.
OLG president Stephen Rigby announced that Ontario Gaming GTA LP (OGGLP) will be the service provider responsible for the development and operation of casino gaming within the GTA.
OGGLP is a partnership between Great Canadian Gaming (49%) and Brookfield Business Partners LP (49%), as well as Clairvest Group Inc. (2%). Great Canadian Gaming will operate the gaming portion of the properties once developed.
Two new casinos are part of the package planned for opening in the GTA, with the new casino sites at Woodbine and Ajax Downs and the existing Great Blue Heron Casino on Scugog Island.
The Woodbine property should see significant development beyond a casino, per agreements made with the City of Toronto that mandated that a casino there must include a substantial amount of non-gaming components like hotel and shopping.
Many details of the agreement have not been released by either OLG or OGGLP, but the length of the contract is 22 years. Woodbine Entertainment Group announced a lease of two parcels to OLG in the past year, including its existing slot operation and a large land bundle adjacent to the existing property as shown in the graphic below. The term of all of these agreements was for 22 years. Coincidence? I think not.
Site plan for Ajax Downs Casino
Proposed site for Woodbine Casino adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack
The Town of Ajax also approved plans for expansion of the Ajax Downs property with the following layout in 2016. Note the 26,000 square metre gaming expansion.
As part of the announcement, the OLGPP will assume the employment contracts of unionized employees at Woodbine, Ajax and Great Blue Heron, and non-unionized employees for at least 1 year.
The expansion of the properties will also bring substantial numbers of construction, gaming and hospitality jobs to the GTA.
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