The debate taking place in Toronto, Canada is about to start up again and this time, it will be focused on expanding the gaming that is offered at Woodbine Racetrack. Right now, the track offers horse racing and 3000 slot machines. In 2013, Woodbine Entertainment proposed gaming at the track, but it was shot down with a 24-20 vote by councilors and city officials.
The rejection of the table games came in a tense meeting, but Woodbine is once again trying to get expanded gaming. Nick Eaves, the president of Woodbine states that it is critical to lift the ban and allow for the expansion to take place. It would be a vital move for the future of the racetrack business model as well as to the 7,500 jobs that are created by the track.
In 2013, when the first proposal was shot down, there was also the consideration of opening a casino downtown. That proposal fell by a vote of 40-4. It is believed that this played a part in the rejection at Woodbine and Eaves believes it is the reason the proposal did not get full consideration.
Rexdale Mayor John Tory is open to rekindling the debate only if there is the involvement of an entertainment destination with a hotel and other amenities that would economically benefit the town.
Eaves is basing his argument for expansion on the importance of growth for the horse breeding and racing industry and believes that the expansion to include table games would be beneficial in multiple ways.