Monday, January 7, 2013

Open Wallet, Extract Money

The OLG's casino expansion in Ontario is soon to hit high gear - one would expect - unless something drastic happens.

From the Guelph Mercury:
  • Clarke said Grand River Raceway is following the lead of some other small tracks in the province, looking at working out an agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to continue operating its slot machines. There are 240 at the Elora raceway.
    That revenue would be a fraction of what the track and community currently make.
    “It’s on the agenda, but not imminent,” Clarke said.
    Elora is also in one of 29 zones the province has selected that can apply to host possible full casinos down the road, but the timetable for that selection process and when they would be up and running is another unknown
As we've discussed before I think this is the "big picture" that the racing media has glossed over. It isn't about Bingo Halls, or taking money away from racing because the government doesn't like rural people.

It's all about the Benjamins. Or in Ontario's case, the "Robert Borden's".

Their goal is to squeeze as much money out of the province it can, via casino's, to pay for deficits, or whatever spending ideas they have up their sleeve.

Funnily enough, while places like Russia try and quell gambling .....
  •  Russian President Vladimir Putin sanguinely noted the economic and crime costs of state-sanctioned gambling and recriminalized 2,230 casinos — virtually wiping the economy clean. Associated leaders such as Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov confirmed that “the gambling business is ... [a threat to] national security.” 
.... Ontario expands it.

I have no doubt on paper this will make the province more money, but at what cost?

The provincial horse racing industry has a leg to stand on, in my opinion. Not by looking into bingo hall splits or protesting, but in asking the Ontario public what they want their province to look like in ten years. By joining forces with municipalities, politicos, church groups, and whomever else is against a huge gambling expansion, perhaps stopping this massive expansion can happen.

Remember, this government won't let us buy a bottle of beer in a corner store, but they want gambling on every street corner, it seems.

I'm more libertarian than most, but 29 full blown casino's in addition to more bingo halls and casino's we already have from Kenora to Kingston doesn't sound very appealing to me. I doubt I'm alone.

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