The Woodbine Racetrack has gained approval for casino expansion by the Toronto city council.
Already featuring 2700 slots, it will now move ahead with development plans after the Wednesday July 8 council meeting, where 25 to 19 voted it through.
With the casino expansion of the Woodbine Racetrack the council had to consider benefits from the property as well as the jobs that would also be created. They took into account any negative effects on residents that would be created by expansion; however John Tory, the Toronto mayor commented that the council's vote was aligned to creating more jobs.
He stated that his support for taking the proposition on to the next phase arose from a profound determination he had to see more jobs open up in the city's northwest corner, an area that has been blighted in terms of opportunities and starved of jobs for a very long time indeed.
Officials stated that concerns about gambling addiction and those with problematic behavior in the gambling arena would be looked at, and the issue would not be cast aside but be paid its due attention.
Even councillor Rob Ford representing Etobicoke North's Ward 2, acknowledged for some gambling can escalate to an addiction. However with firm resolve as with his much publicised experience with substance abuse demonstrated, addictive behaviour can be overcome.
One of Tory's deputy mayors Vince Crisanti, councillor for Ward 1, Etobicoke North, was quick to say he was ecstatic at the result of the vote. He went on to say: "We have over 700 acres that has been sitting underdeveloped forever. This is the opportunity and the catalyst that will take it to new levels."
Speaking on the result of the Woodbine Racetrack Expansion vote, Jim Lawson CEO for the Woodbine Entertainment Group stated that the decision would be a shot in the arm for Ontario's horse racing industry that would enable opportunities for further growth and expansion in the future.
He also pointed out in conclusion that with a developed casino on his property, the facility had the potential to attract 12m visitors yearly. This is approximately twice current existing levels, although how long this would take to materialise was not a point of discussion.
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