The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is moving closer to selecting a service provider to run new and existing casino and gaming facilities in the Greater Toronto Area.
As that process evolves, the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino has been formally added to the GTA portfolio or bundle, which also includes Woodbine and Ajax Downs gaming centres.
Recent agreements between the parties involved - OLG, the Ontario government and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) - make the speculation that was included in the OLG's pre-qualification request for proposal documents (RFPQ) a reality. This now is in the form of an addendum to the RFP.
The RFPQ was done to select organizations that would be invited to tender in the RFP for the operation of the GTA Gaming Bundle. The agreements were announced by the OLG on August 18, 2016 and Charles Sousa, Ontario Minister of Finance.
What does this mean moving forward?
A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued earlier this year for the selection of a Service Provider for the GTA Gaming Bundle. A company will be selected by OLG - likely in the summer of 2017 - to run three casinos in the GTA:
- Great Blue Heron Charity Casino on Scugog Island
- An expanded casino at Ajax Downs in Ajax - has passed local rezoning and is included in the scope for the RFP.
- A new casino complex at Woodbine in Toronto slated for construction on vacant land to the west of Woodbine Racetrack, and is included in the scope for the RFP. OLG has signed a long-term lease for this land parcel.
The winning company will have an option to operate a new, large casino resort operation within the GTA (Toronto downtown, for example), if one of the GTA municipalities and the Ontario government come to agreement on location and details, provided that there is sufficient market demand (per the RFPQ documents).
The OLG will oversee the operation of this company, similar to the same arrangement in other gaming zones in the province.
There will be hundreds of new jobs at the expanded facilities, both in construction and operation. For current employees at the existing three facilities, there will be ample opportunities for advancement and movement within the new company, as the number of staff and size of the Ajax and Woodbine venues will grow substantially.
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