A single hotel-casino in the Toronto area could generate more than $1 billion in revenues for the Canadian province’s government.
At a press conference Monday, Dwight Duncan, the finance minister for the province of Ontario, said taxes on gaming revenues from the casino — along with taxes associated by the casino’s Internet gaming presence — could give the cash-strapped government a much-needed lift.
Duncan said the changes would bring the province’s lottery and gaming businesses up-to-date.
"We’re bringing (the Ontario Lottery) into the 21st century and putting it on a strong footing going forward," he said.
Ontario Lottery official Paul Godfrey said it was not clear where the Toronto casino would be located, nor did he give any details into the size or scope of the project.
"Where we go from here is to discuss it," Godfrey said, adding new casinos would need local approval. "Some municipalities may not want it. I personally can’t understand that, but I would hope there would be a lot of competition.”
In order to "modernize" the province’s gaming industry, "underperforming" gaming facilities would either be closed or relocated. Slot machines would move beyond racetracks, and a new casino may be built in the greater Toronto area.