Great Canadian Entertainment has announced that Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto is set to open June 20, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. local time. The highly anticipated opening, next to Woodbine Racetrack, will open a huge gaming floor of more than 300,000 square feet and all of the Las Vegas-style amenities Canadians have come to expect from the legacy lottery casino operator.
Meanwhile, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario subsidiary, iGaming Ontario’s (iGO) spokespersons were at the Canadian Gaming Summit in Toronto last week and iGO’s Martha Otton, executive director told a panel discussion and its sizable audience that the sectors participants are “crushing it”.
Neither Great Canadian’s press release nor iGaming Ontario’s comments addressed any possibility of unmovable objects being met with irresistible forces.
Great Canadian Entertainment is betting on its in-person offering of entertainment, massive gaming space with over 4,800 slot machines and 145 table games situated in 328,000 square feet of gaming space – Canada’s largest casinos and one of the biggest in North America capturing in-person-gamblers’ attention and holding it through other amenities as well on 33-acres of fun with a great location near the Highways 401 and 427 interchange.
In addition to innovative modern architecture and a location adjacent to the popular Woodbine Racetrack, visitors will also find a 400-room hotel, a vast array of on-site dining, and a 5,000-person live entertainment venue.
While the new venue there cost some $1 billion it is also expected to generate about $500m in annual economic impact.
Great Canadian Entertainment CEO, Matthew Anfinson said of the opening: “We are thrilled to announce that our highly anticipated new casino will open on June 20. With meticulous attention to detail, state-of-the-art amenities, and a commitment to exceptional guest experiences, our landmark entertainment resort is a game-changer in Toronto,” said the CEO.
The company noted that the existing Casino Woodbine would continue operations without interruption until the new venue opens for a seamless transition. The release also noted that there will be a “PlaySmart Centre on the gaming floor, filled with engaging interactive tools and valuable responsible gambling resources available for all players.”
Ontario iGaming “Crushing It”
While the first quarter of business for iGaming in the province isn’t complete, so there are no final numbers available yet, Martha Otton of iGo told attendees at the Canadian Gaming Summit in Toronto on Wednesday that GGR or gross gaming revenues were “3.5 times as large as Q1 last year, “ according to a report on CDC Gaming Reports.
Other panel members discussing the first full year of legalized and regulated iGaming in the province included board chair of iGaming Ontario, Dave Forestell; Ontario Attorney General, Doug Downey, and Tom Mungham, chief executive officer of AGCO – the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario a crown agency responsible for the actual regulation of alcohol, gaming and horse racing sectors and cannabis retail stores in Ontario.
A study commissioned by iGO and provided by Deloitte was released at the discussion which estimates some 12,000 “full-time-equivalent” jobs had been created by liberalizing online gambling in Ontario and had boosted the province’s GDP contribution of some CAD$1.6 billion with $900m of that on labor income.
Of the more than 12,000 jobs, Otton said: “…whether they’re direct or indirect jobs in the market and an average salary well above the provincial average. They’re good jobs for this province coming here.”
The Deloitte report, “Economic Contributions of Ontario’s Regulated iGaming Market,” not only examines the economic impact of a more openly competitive model in the province but also the decision to keep the lottery involved. The former model was run through a hybrid crown corporation with the government being one stakeholder and the Ontario Lottery being the other. The current model brings dozens of competitors to the market while maintaining ties to the lottery.
The Deloitte report projected the potential for an additional 10,000 new jobs, a further boost to $4.7 billion in annual GDP, and the possibility of breaking the $2b mark in government revenues within the first decade of operations.
The report said that igaming employment is over 40% more lucrative than private sector employment with average earnings of over $100,000 per year and noted that some sectors participating include those with skills in mathematics, technology, engineering, and science.
Government sector benefits would include a boost in revenue from last year’s $470 million provincial earrings to nearly one and a half billion in revenue in 2031-32 based on the 20% revenue-share model used in Ontario; federal revenue increasing to ^47m from $238m, and a nearly two-fold increase in revenue for Ontario municipalities from $54m to $115m.
Source: Ontario’s regulated online gaming market generates 12,000 full-time jobs, CAD$1.6B economic impact, in first year, CDC Gaming Reports, June 14, 2023
Great Canadian to open Casino Resort Toronto on June 20, G3 Newswire, June 14, 2023