Caesars Entertainment Corporation has officially joined the group of private gaming firms with plans for a casino in downtown Toronto. The architectural plans were released Friday morning to representatives of Toronto city council and the OLG. Caesars is hoping to transform the Metro Convention Centre into what it describes as an “urban-integrated casino”. The drawings showcase what would be a bright, glass entrance next to a conveniently located park. The size of the development site would be large enough to include restaurants, shops, and an entertainment venue.
Caesars Executive Vice President of Communications Jan Jones says the convention centre location is their ideal choice, because of its easy accessibility for tourists by both car and public transit. However, should city council reject the convention centre as a possible location for a casino, Jones says Caesars’ designs could work for other locations in the downtown area.
The public acknowledgement by Caesars of their interest in operating a Toronto casino comes on the heels of a similar announcement by Oxford Properties Group. Oxford is one of the owners of the convention centre, and previously announced its plans for a development complex that would include a casino. Executive Vice President Michael Kitt said on Friday that Caesars’ plans correlate with designs previously released by Oxford, and that they are in negotiations together.
“We are open to any operator who is interested in our site.”
The casino proposals come as an executive committee chaired by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, prepares to debate a staff report that calculates the economic benefits of a casino in the city. Ford himself supports the casino resolution, but city manager Joe Pennachetti says public consultations must be conducted over the next few months before a final decision can be made.
The OLG is interested in developing multiple casinos throughout Ontario, but is keenly interested in the Toronto location. However, the gaming regulator has said it will not force a casino on any community that votes against it.