Toronto’s $1 billion Vegas-style resort and casino is being met with outrage

This summer, a new $1 billion “Vegas-style casino” will officially open in Toronto.

Located adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack, the resort will include a 400-room hotel as well as eight dining venues that will range from fine dining to gastropub experiences.

According to a statement from Great Canadian Entertainment, the facility will be named “Great Canadian Resort Toronto.”

The resort will also feature a  state-0f-the-art, five-thousand seat live entertainment venue that will feature concerts, sports action and special events.

And when it comes to the casino, the property will feature more than 4,800 slot machines — the largest amount of machines in Canada — as well as  over 145 table games which will include classic favourites like baccarat and roulette.

For now, Casino Woodbine will continue to operate with no interruption until the new resort opens sometime this summer.

And while Toronto’s gambling enthusiasts are surely counting down the days to the opening, there are some, including the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSFIN) who are “appalled” by the announcement.

“The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) are outraged by the disrespect shown to their First Nation by the Onto Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and Great Canadian Entertainment (GCE.) As MSIFN prepares to mediate in the coming months its disputes with the government over the government’s expansion of gaming in the GTA, OLG and GCE have instead announced another expansion of GTA gaming when their mega-casino at Woodbine opens in Toronto this summer,” said a statement from MSFIN.

MSFIN who owns the Great Blue Heron Casino on Scugog Island located just east of Port Perry, say that in 2016 they entered into agreements with the government and OLG, as part of Ontario’s modernization scheme.  The agreements were meant to ensure that the Casino “would be operated in a comparative manner to other government casinos in the GTA and revenue would be provided to MSFIN to support development and services for the First Nation, including the provision of clean drinking water in the community.”

MSIFN’s Chief Kelly LaRocca who is also a lawyer said in a statement that they entered into the agreement with a shared understanding that OLG and the government would act in good faith.

“Once again, however, the Ford government chooses to implement its decisions and ask questions later. It’s utter disregard for our First Nation and the Honour of the Crown,” said Chief LaRocca. “We continue to focus our good faith efforts on the mediation and will brace for whatever comes next.”

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