Under the Ontario government's plan to expand gaming in the province, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) released a number of updates this week.
Included in the releases was a Request for Prequalifications (RFPQ) for companies to submit regarding casino construction and operation in the Greater Toronto Area and, specifically, the Ajax and Whitby area. Under the OLG's plan for expansion, the area including Ajax, Whitby and Pickering is bundled into a gaming zone known as "Gaming Zone 3", which is part of a larger area called "Gaming Bundle 5", or the GTA Zone. This bundle also includes Zone C2, where Woodbine Racetrack and Slots is located, and could potentially include Zone C8, where the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino is located.
Under the RFPQ, the OLG is asking companies to outline their capability (both operationally and financially) to build and operate both gaming and non-gaming (including entertainment and restaurant) facilities in the C2 and C3 zones (Woodbine area and Ajax, Whitby, Pickering area). I have excluded Pickering from most of the article as Pickering Council has voted down the concept of hosting a gaming facility.
Some details uncovered in the RFPQ include the following:
- Gaming Zone C3 (Ajax Whitby) to include up to 2,500 slot machines (or electronic gaming 'positions') and up to 5,000 in Zone C2.
- Gaming Zone C3 to include up to 1,200 "Live Table Gaming Positions", or seats at live tables, and up to 2,400 in Zone C2. That could be up to 120 live gaming tables.
- If a service provider is selected to operate these facilities, they would get the "Right of First Opportunity" to become the service provider of a new gaming facility within the Greater Toronto Area, if it should become allowed. The RFPQ states that this hasn't happened because a community in the GTA has not yet come forward willing to host such a facility. This facility, along with the one in Zone C2 (Woodbine Zone) would be allowed a total of 8,000 slot machines (or electronic gaming positions) and up to 3,000 live table seats.
- Deadline for submissions is March 3, 2014.
The documents contain much more detail that I have summarized here, and I welcome your comments or questions below.