A committee of Toronto City Council members Wednesday approved a single casino-resort complex to be located in Canada’s largest city, but the proposal faces an uphill battle in front of the full panel. The development, which has drawn interest from MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corp., and Las Vegas Sands Corp., is backed by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation suggested placing a casino in downtown Toronto, but the project needs approval from elected leaders and Toronto residents. The Mayor’s Executive Committee, the first step in the process, approved the casino plan by a 9 to 4 vote.
Ford dismissed opposition to a new casino as “fear mongering.”
The next step is for the issue to go before the full city council, which is expected to vote when it meets on May 7-8. Media reports have indicated 25 members of the council oppose the casino, which are two votes above a majority. Ford has publicly vowed to take the issue directly to Toronto residents through a referendum, even if the council rejects the plan.