Item - 2015.EX4.16

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on March 31, 2015 with amendments.
  • This item was considered by Executive Committee on March 25, 2015 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on March 31, 2015.

EX4.16 - Request for Report on Expanded Gaming at Woodbine Racetrack

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on March 31, April 1 and 2, 2015, adopted the following:

1.  City Council authorize the City Manager to conduct a public consultation process to seek input from Torontonians on the matter of expanded gaming at 555 Rexdale Boulevard (Woodbine Racetrack); including:

 

a.  a public meeting in Etobicoke;

b.  an online questionnaire promoted on the City's website and via social media;

c.  a city-wide public opinion poll; and

d.  a presentation at Executive Committee

 

2.  City Council direct the City Manager to prepare a report for the June 30, 2015 meeting of Executive Committee, which would include an assessment of the technical planning requirements, and merits and potential risks of expanded gaming at 555 Rexdale Boulevard (Woodbine Racetrack); including:

 

a.  the size and type of facility that would be suitable at the Woodbine location, including:

 

1.  total number of slot machines; and

2.  total number of other gaming tables

 

b.  any required land use, infrastructure and other planning matters associated with expanded gaming at the Woodbine site;

c. the potential economic impact (GDP and jobs) of expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack and the potential added economic impact of an expanded entertainment and retail destination, including a breakdown of anticipated part-time and full-time employment in the proposed gaming facility as well as projected salaries based on data from comparable casinos in Canada and the United States, and include estimations for:

 

1.  gaming revenue;

2.  non-gaming revenue;

3.  total revenue;

4.  direct, indirect, and induced jobs (FTE);

5.  average Annual Income (full-time employee); and

6.  an economic analysis to determine per slot machine how much discretionary income each slot machine would remove from the economy on an annual basis;


d.  the potential risks to the current employment at the Woodbine Racetrack if a new casino were to be located within the GTA but outside of the City of Toronto;

e.  the identification of social and economic development objectives that the City may require as conditions for its approval of expanded gaming at Woodbine, to leverage any new development to benefit local Toronto residents and communities; including recommendations to encourage full time employment;

f.  the potential additional social impact to individuals and families due to gambling-related addictive behaviour and crime; options to mitigate and strategies to address the negative human and social impacts; social procurement opportunities in the development and operation of a casino and related facilities (i.e., convention centre, hotel etc.); City and community use of space agreements for appropriate uses (i.e., local arts, culture, etc);  and measurement and monitoring systems to independently assess Social Contract implementation and effectiveness; and include information on funding for any major research used in this analysis;

g.  any incremental costs associated with expanded gaming at Woodbine including police, fire and emergency medical services costs;

h.  the amount of projected revenue to be received by the City as part of a Municipal Contribution Agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation reflecting projected revenues at the new gaming site including:


1.  total annual revenue to the City;

2.  average City share of estimated total gaming revenue; and

3.  annual minimum revenue;


i.  the benefits identified in the Woodbine Live initiative;

j.  a framework for ensuring that a Labour Peace Agreement is in place for all aspects of the proposal and a local hiring and training requirement;

k.  a preliminary public transit strategy for the development of 555 Rexdale Boulevard (Woodbine Racetrack), including a cost/benefit analysis of extending the Finch LRT to the Rexdale community and to Pearson Airport;

l.  how the expansion of gaming relates to horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack including:

a. a summary of the Province of Ontario's current policies and commitments to the horse racing industry as part of its gaming strategy

b. opportunities to improve and increase affordable housing for backstretch workers;

c.  opportunities for all gaming revenues on the Woodbine site to provide adequate and long term funding for the horse racing industry; and

d.  any plans for horse racing marketing and fan development under development by Woodbine Entertainment Group or the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation; and

m.  the results of the public consultation, set out in Part 1 above.

3.  City Council authorize the City Manager to allocate up to $75,000 from the City Manager's Office approved 2015 budget for the recovery of costs associated with retaining third party services in the delivery of the public consultation and analysis, as required, in preparation for the June 30, 2015 Executive Committee report.

4.  City Council request the Medical Officer of Health to report to the June 1, 2015 meeting of the Board of Health on any public health impacts of expanding gaming at Woodbine Racetrack.

5.  City Council request the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to provide the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health data related to gambling at Woodbine and its other casinos with the purpose of developing a better understanding of problem gambling in host communities.

Background Information (Committee)

(March 9, 2015) Letter from Councillor Vincent Crisanti on Woodbine Racetrack
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-77967.pdf
(March 6, 2015) Letter from the President and Chief Executive Officer, Woodbine Entertainment Group
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-77988.pdf

Background Information (City Council)

(March 30, 2015) Supplementary report from the City Manager on expansion of gaming at Woodbine Racetrack (EX4.16a)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-78652.pdf
Appendix 1 - Ontario Gaming Zones
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-78653.pdf
Appendix 2 - letter from Woodbine to the City Manager
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-78654.pdf
Appendix 3 - Summary of 2013 Staff Analysis on Expanded Gaming and Development at Woodbine Racetrack
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-78655.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(March 24, 2015) Letter from Wendy Horton, Executive Director, Youth Without Shelter (EX.Supp.EX4.16.1)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/comm/communicationfile-52009.pdf
(March 24, 2015) E-mail from Alex Silvers (EX.Supp.EX4.16.2)
(March 25, 2015) Submission from Councillor Gord Perks dated November 2012 (EX.New.EX4.16.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/comm/communicationfile-52050.pdf
(March 25, 2015) Submission from Councillor Norm Kelly (EX.New.EX4.16.4)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/comm/communicationfile-52017.pdf
(March 25, 2015) Submission from Councillor Mike Layton (EX.New.EX4.16.5)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/comm/communicationfile-52058.pdf

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Joe Mihevc (Carried)

That City Council request the City Manager to include in his report to the June 30, 2015 meeting of the Executive Committee, a preliminary public transit strategy for the development of 555 Rexdale Boulevard (Woodbine Racetrack), including a cost/benefit analysis of extending the Finch LRT to the Rexdale community and to Pearson Airport.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Mar-31-2015 6:57 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX4.16 - Mihevc - motion 1
Total members that voted Yes: 28 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 12 Members that voted No are Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Justin J. Di Ciano, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Michelle Berardinetti, Rob Ford, James Pasternak, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam

2 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Joe Cressy (Carried)

That City Council request the Medical Officer of Health to report to the June 1, 2015 meeting of the Board of Health on any public health impacts of expanding gaming at Woodbine Racetrack.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Mar-31-2015 6:59 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX4.16 - Cressy - motion 2
Total members that voted Yes: 37 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 3 Members that voted No are John Campbell, Giorgio Mammoliti, Frances Nunziata (Chair)
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Michelle Berardinetti, Rob Ford, James Pasternak, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam

3 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Mike Layton (Carried)

That City Council request the Ontario and Lottery Gaming Corporation to provide the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health data related to gambling at Woodbine and its other casinos with the purpose of developing a better understanding of problem gambling in host communities.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Mar-31-2015 6:59 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX4.16 - Layton - motion 3
Total members that voted Yes: 35 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 5 Members that voted No are Justin J. Di Ciano, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Giorgio Mammoliti, Mary-Margaret McMahon
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Michelle Berardinetti, Rob Ford, James Pasternak, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam

4 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Carried)

That City Council direct the City Manager include in his report to the June 30, 2015 meeting of the Executive Committee how the expansion of gaming relates to horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack including:

 

a. a summary of the Province of Ontario's current policies and commitments to the horse racing industry as part of its gaming strategy

 

b. opportunities to improve and increase affordable housing for backstretch workers;

 

c.  opportunities for all gaming revenues on the Woodbine site to provide adequate and long term funding for the horse racing industry; and

 

d.  any plans for horse racing marketing and fan development under development by Woodbine Entertainment Group or the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Mar-31-2015 7:00 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - Ex4.16 - Karygiannis - motion 4
Total members that voted Yes: 25 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mark Grimes, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner
Total members that voted No: 15 Members that voted No are Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Shelley Carroll, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, John Filion, Mary Fragedakis, Stephen Holyday, Josh Matlow, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks, John Tory
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Michelle Berardinetti, Rob Ford, James Pasternak, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam

5 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Lost)

That City Council amend Executive Committee Recommendation 1a by deleting the word "Etobicoke" and inserting the words "all four districts of the City of Toronto", so that it now reads as follows:

 

1. City Council authorize the City Manager to conduct a public consultation process to seek input from Torontonians on the matter of expanded gaming at 555 Rexdale Boulevard (Woodbine Racetrack); including:

 
a. a public meeting in all four districts of the City of Toronto;

Vote (Amend Item) Mar-31-2015 7:01 PM

Result: Lost Majority Required - EX4.16 - Ainslie - motion 5
Total members that voted Yes: 19 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Joe Mihevc, Ron Moeser, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner
Total members that voted No: 21 Members that voted No are Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Mary Fragedakis, Mark Grimes, Norman Kelly, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Jaye Robinson, John Tory
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Michelle Berardinetti, Rob Ford, James Pasternak, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam

6 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Vincent Crisanti (Carried)

That City Council adopt the following recommendation contained in the supplementary report (March 30, 2015) from the City Manager [EX4.16a]:

 

1.  City Council authorize the City Manager to allocate up to $75,000 from the City Manager's Office approved 2015 budget for the recovery of costs associated with retaining third party services in the delivery of the public consultation and analysis, as required, in preparation for the June 30, 2015 Executive Committee report.

 

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Mar-31-2015 7:02 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX4.16 - Crisanti - motion 6
Total members that voted Yes: 27 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 13 Members that voted No are Maria Augimeri, John Campbell, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Janet Davis, John Filion, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Gord Perks
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Michelle Berardinetti, Rob Ford, James Pasternak, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam

Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item as Amended) Mar-31-2015 7:03 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX4.16 - Adopt the item as amended
Total members that voted Yes: 29 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 11 Members that voted No are Shelley Carroll, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Joe Mihevc, Ron Moeser, Gord Perks
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Michelle Berardinetti, Rob Ford, James Pasternak, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam

Point of Order by Councillor John Campbell

Councillor Campbell, rising on a Point of Order, stated that the matter before Council is not about the merits of gambling or about problem gambling, it is a report request, and further stated that Members of Council should stay on topic.

Ruling by Speaker Frances Nunziata
Speaker Nunziata accepted the Point of Order and ruled that Members should debate the matter before Council and reminded the Members of Council that the Item is a report request.


Point of Privilege by Councillor Mike Layton

Councillor Layton, rising on a Point of Privilege, stated that he objects to Councillor Mammoliti's remarks while he is speaking.


Point of Privilege by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti

Councillor Mammoliti, rising on a Point of Privilege, stated that he was having a small conversation with the Mayor that had nothing to do with Councillor Layton's remarks, and that he had not spoken all day.

Ruling by Speaker Frances Nunziata
Speaker Nunziata, accepted the Points of Privilege and ruled that Councillor Mammoliti had not been in the Chamber for most of the day and when he was present he was disrupting the debate. The Speaker asked Councillor Mammoliti to refrain from further disruptions.


Point of Order by Councillor Jim Karygiannis

Councillor Karygiannis, rising on a Point of Order, stated that he needed clarification on whether someone can say who has been in the Chamber or not.

Ruling by Speaker Frances Nunziata
Speaker Nunziata did not accept the Point of Order.


Point of Privilege by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti

Councillor Mammoliti, rising on a Point of Privilege, stated that he objected to the Speaker's comment that he had not been present in the Chamber.

EX4.16 - Request for Report on Expanded Gaming at Woodbine Racetrack

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Executive Committee recommends that:

1.  City Council authorize the City Manager to conduct a public consultation process to seek input from Torontonians on the matter of expanded gaming at 555 Rexdale Boulevard (Woodbine Racetrack); including:
 
a.  a public meeting in Etobicoke;

b.  an online questionnaire promoted on the City's website and via social media;

c.  a city-wide public opinion poll; and

d.  a presentation at Executive Committee
 
2.  City Council direct the City Manager to prepare a report for the June 30, 2015 meeting of Executive Committee, which would include an assessment of the technical planning requirements, and merits and potential risks of expanded gaming at 555 Rexdale Boulevard (Woodbine Racetrack); including:
 
a.  the size and type of facility that would be suitable at the Woodbine location, including:
 
1.  total number of slot machines; and

2.  total number of other gaming tables
 
b.  any required land use, infrastructure and other planning matters associated with expanded gaming at the Woodbine site;

c. the potential economic impact (GDP and jobs) of expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack and the potential added economic impact of an expanded entertainment and retail destination, including a breakdown of anticipated part-time and full-time employment in the proposed gaming facility as well as projected salaries based on data from comparable casinos in Canada and the United States, and include estimations for:
 
1.  gaming revenue;

2.  non-gaming revenue;

3.  total revenue;

4.  direct, indirect, and induced jobs (FTE);

5.  average Annual Income (full-time employee); and

6.  an economic analysis to determine per slot machine how much discretionary income each slot machine would remove from the economy on an annual basis;

d.  the potential risks to the current employment at the Woodbine Racetrack if a new casino were to be located within the GTA but outside of the City of Toronto;

e.  the identification of social and economic development objectives that the City may require as conditions for its approval of expanded gaming at Woodbine, to leverage any new development to benefit local Toronto residents and communities; including recommendations to encourage full time employment.

f.  the potential additional social impact to individuals and families due to gambling-related addictive behaviour and crime; options to mitigate and strategies to address the negative human and social impacts; social procurement opportunities in the development and operation of a casino and related facilities (i.e., convention centre, hotel etc.); City and community use of space agreements for appropriate uses (i.e., local arts, culture, etc);  and measurement and monitoring systems to independently assess Social Contract implementation and effectiveness; and include information on funding for any major research used in this analysis;

g.  any incremental costs associated with expanded gaming at Woodbine including police, fire and emergency medical services costs;

h.  the amount of projected revenue to be received by the City as part of a Municipal Contribution Agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation reflecting projected revenues at the new gaming site including:

1.  total annual revenue to the City;

2.  average City share of estimated total gaming revenue; and

3.  annual minimum revenue;

i.  the benefits identified in the Woodbine Live initiative;

j.  a framework for ensuring that a Labour Peace Agreement is in place for all aspects of the proposal and a local hiring and training requirement; and

k.  the results of the public consultation, set out in Recommendation 1.

Decision Advice and Other Information

The Executive Committee:

 

1. Requested the City Manager to report directly to Council with additional information from Woodbine Entertainment Group's management or Board of Directors on expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack including but not limited to the size of the casino expansion, the number of additional slot machines, gaming tables and the type and size of entertainment complex that would best serve their needs.

 

Origin

(March 9, 2015) Letter from Councillor Vincent Crisanti

Summary

As Deputy Mayor, I have taken on a lead role in economic development to aid in the processes that will promote revitalization and sustainability, generating gains in private investment and local job creation.  A letter submitted to my office by Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) has opened a dialogue to discuss merits of how, as a City, we can achieve further economic success in Etobicoke and in Toronto.

 

WEG has been a longstanding partner, operating in Toronto since 1881. The Woodbine Racetrack facility has been a part of the North Etobicoke fabric since 1956 and has since earned worldwide recognition as a premier horse racing operation.

 

I am writing the Executive Committee to advise that North Etobicoke faces the very real threat of losing the racetrack.  As you may be aware, the short term arrangement between WEG and the Province, through the Horse Racing Partnership Funding Program expires in 2019.

 

For WEG to achieve long-term sustainability for the horse racing industry, solutions must be identified that are successful over the long-term and provide consistent revenue streams that will facilitate growth, while providing security for the horse racing industry.  If solutions are not found then Toronto faces the potential loss of more than 7500 jobs and over 1800 in the Rexdale community that WEG currently provides.

 

The concept of expanded gaming will provide not only WEG a revenue stream to support horse racing at this site, but will provide the City and North Etobicoke immense revitalization and economic prospects.   I am writing to you and the Executive Committee to consider engaging in the process to attain a resolution by the City of Toronto to permit the expansion of gaming at the Woodbine Racetrack, which would include the introduction of live gaming tied to a bigger vision; the creation of a premier "entertainment destination" for our City.  The opportunity is before us to create a legacy at this site that will see an economically depressed area like Rexdale revitalized with new operations like a hotel, restaurants, retail, amenities, partnerships to support community needs, etc.  

 

Under a new administration we have the opportunity to engage the private sector, along with other orders of government to ensure that Toronto remains at the forefront of economic growth, while remaining highly competitive with its surrounding municipalities.  The expansion of the Woodbine Racetrack will allow us the opportunity to achieve just that.

 

Moving forward it is important to remember that gaming via the racetrack has been taking place since 1956 and gaming through slots and electronic tables since 2000.

 

It is also timely that we consider a live gaming expansion at this site as the OLG is currently engaged in the procurement process to identify a qualified private sector service provider to operate OLG Slots at Woodbine racetrack pursuant to its Modernization Plan.  The support of expanded gaming will allow WEG and a future private sector service provider the ability to work with the City through a redevelopment application process, creating a catalyst for revitalization of the surrounding area.  This important first step is required in order for WEG and the OLG to develop a redevelopment strategy in consultation with the City to ensure the long-term success of the Rexdale Community.

 

The expansion of gaming at this specific site will create an environment with immense potential and benefit to the City of Toronto and its residents.  Benefits include:

 

Creation of local jobs, fostering economic sustainability & vitality in the Rexdale community

Establishment of a new world class, premier "entertainment destination" for Toronto

Increased revenue to the City through property taxes and hosting fees

Redevelopment of nearly 700 acres at the 555 Rexdale Boulevard site

Remain a premier tourist attraction with over six million visitors a year

Act as a catalyst for further growth and revitalization in the Rexdale/Etobicoke area

Stronger City and Community partnership with WEG

 

It is important that we listen to our communities and act in their best interest regarding this matter.  We saw positive community support for the expansion at Woodbine, highlighted through polling and public consultations, which were identified in the 2013 report when the gaming expansion at Woodbine Racetrack was before Council in the previous term.  I also found that during my 2014 door-to-door re-election campaign that positive sentiment remained in Etobicoke North for expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack.  I strongly believe that the support from our residents will continue to be there, as we will have the opportunity to engage them again through a willing host/expanded gaming process site specific to 555 Rexdale Boulevard.

 

I will be in attendance at the March 25th, 2015 Executive Committee meeting to discuss this matter further with the committee and to present a motion that will be site specific to 555 Rexdale Boulevard.  This will commence the process to attain a resolution by the City of Toronto to permit the expansion of gaming at the Woodbine Racetrack, which would include the introduction of live gaming, acting as the catalyst for greater vision for this site.

 

I strongly believe that expanded gaming at Woodbine racetrack will not only allow WEG to sustain long-term revenue security for the horse racing industry, but the overall project will have even greater and more positive impacts that will be felt in Etobicoke and the rest of the City.

Background Information

(March 9, 2015) Letter from Councillor Vincent Crisanti on Woodbine Racetrack
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-77967.pdf
(March 6, 2015) Letter from the President and Chief Executive Officer, Woodbine Entertainment Group
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-77988.pdf

Communications

(March 24, 2015) Letter from Wendy Horton, Executive Director, Youth Without Shelter (EX.Supp.EX4.16.1)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/comm/communicationfile-52009.pdf
(March 24, 2015) E-mail from Alex Silvers (EX.Supp.EX4.16.2)
(March 25, 2015) Submission from Councillor Gord Perks dated November 2012 (EX.New.EX4.16.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/comm/communicationfile-52050.pdf
(March 25, 2015) Submission from Councillor Norm Kelly (EX.New.EX4.16.4)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/comm/communicationfile-52017.pdf
(March 25, 2015) Submission from Councillor Mike Layton (EX.New.EX4.16.5)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/comm/communicationfile-52058.pdf

Speakers

Nick Eaves, President and Chief Executive Officer, Woodbine Entertainment Group
Lis Pimentel, President, UNITE HERE Local 75
Guled Warsame, UNITE HERE Local 75
Bill O'Donnell, Central Ontario Standardbred Association
John Quarterly
Councillor Janet Davis
Councillor Frances Nunziata
Councillor Shelley Carroll
Councillor Gord Perks
Councillor Mike Layton
Councillor Jim Karygiannis
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti
Councillor Vincent Crisanti
Councillor John Campbell
Councillor Norm Kelly

Motions

1a - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Lost)

That new recommendations 1.e and 1.f be added as follows:

 

1.e  Any proposal exclude any expansion of slot machines, electronic gaming machines, or video lottery terminals.

 

1.f  Any proposal to include all recommendations from the Toronto Public Health position statement from November 2012. (See EX4.16.3)


1b - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Carried)

That:

 

1.  Recommendation 2.e be amended to read as follows:

 

2.e. The identification of social and economic development objectives that the City may require as conditions for its approval of expanded gaming at Woodbine, to leverage any new development to benefit local Toronto residents and communities; including recommendations to encourage full time employment

 

2. Recommendation 2.c be amended to read as follows:

 

2.c. The potential economic impact (GDP and jobs) of expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack and the potential added economic impact of an expanded entertainment and retail destination, including:

 

- a breakdown of anticipated part-time and full-time employment in the proposed gaming facility as well as projected salaries based on data from comparable casinos in Canada and the United States.

 

3. Recommendation 2.f be amended to read as follows:

 

2.f. The potential additional social impact to individuals and families due to gambling-related addictive behaviour and crime, and options to mitigate the negative human and social impact and include information on funding for any major research used in this analysis.


1c - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Lost)

That a new recommendation 2.j be added as follows:

 

2.j  Location data on current users of Woodbine slots and electronic gambling, including gambling losses, where available.


2a - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Carried)

That recommendation 1.b be amended to read as follows:

 

1.b  An online questionnaire promoted on the City's website and via social media


2b - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Carried)

That recommendation 2 be amended so that it read as follows:

 

2. Executive Committee request City Council direct the City Manager to prepare a report for the June 30th, 2015 meeting of Executive Committee, which would include an assessment of the technical planning requirements, and merits and potential risks of expanded gaming at 555 Rexdale Boulevard (Woodbine Racetrack); including:

 

a. The size and type of facility that would be suitable at the Woodbine location, including

- Total number of slot machines

- Total number of other gaming tables

 

b. Any required land use, infrastructure and other planning matters associated with expanded gaming at the Woodbine site;

 

c. The potential economic impact (GDP and jobs) of expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack and the potential added economic impact of an expanded entertainment and retail destination, and include estimations for:

- Gaming revenue

- Non-gaming revenue

- Total revenue

- Direct, indirect, and induced jobs (FTE)

- Average Annual Income (full-time employee)

- An economic analysis to determine per slot machine how much discretionary income each slot machine would remove from the economy on an annual basis

 

d. The potential risks to the current employment at the Woodbine Racetrack if a new casino were to be located within the GTA but outside of the City of Toronto;

e. The identification of social and economic development objectives that the City may require as conditions for its approval of expanded gaming at Woodbine, to leverage any new development to benefit local Toronto residents and communities;

 

f. The potential additional social impact to individuals and families due to gambling-related addictive behaviour and crime, and options to mitigate the negative human and social impact, as well as harm mitigation strategies to address negative social impacts, social procurement opportunities in the development and operation of a casino, and related facilities (ie convention centre, hotel etc.), City and community use of space agreements for appropriate uses (ie local arts, culture, etc), and measurement and monitoring systems to independently assess Social Contract implementation and effectiveness.
 

g. Any incremental costs associated with expanded gaming at Woodbine including police, fire and emergency medical services costs;

 

h. The amount of projected revenue to be received by the City as part of a Municipal Contribution Agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation reflecting projected revenues at the new gaming site including:

- Total annual revenue to the City

- Average City share of estimated total gaming revenue

- Annual minimum revenue; and

 

i. The results of the public consultation, per Recommendation 1.


2c - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Lost)

That recommendation 1.a be amended to read as follows:

 

1.a  A public meeting in each of the four Community Council areas.


3 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Frank Di Giorgio (Carried)

That the City include in the consulting process the benefits identified in the Woodbine Live initiative.


4 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)

That a new Recommendation 2.j be added as follows:

 

2.j  A framework for ensuring that a Labour Peace Agreement is in place for all aspects of the proposal and a local hiring and training requirement.


5 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor David Shiner (Carried)

That the City Manager report directly to Council with additional information from Woodbine Entertainment Group's management or Board of Directors on expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack including but not limited to the size of the casino expansion, the number of additional slot machines, gaming tables and the type and size of entertainment complex that would best serve their needs.


6 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Mayor John Tory (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council