Gaming expansion is back on the table in the Greater Toronto Area after majority of councillors, including Mayor John Tory, voted on April 1 to direct the city manager to draft a report on the economic and social implications of increased gaming at Woodbine Racetrack.

Toronto City Council under former Mayor Rob Ford had previously denied expanding gaming beyond the existing slots at the racetrack.

The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) supports the motion to have the city manager begin a public consultation process on expanding Woodbine’s gaming options, as the assessment will examine not only the technical planning requirements but also the merits and potential risks of expanded gaming at the facility.

It didn’t take long for detractors to surface and denounce the motion, but from the CGA’s perspective their fears ring hollow given the careful process that will be followed.

The gaming industry continues to be one of the largest entertainment industries in Canada and a pillar of the broader hospitality industry, and the CGA has been a staunch advocate for the responsible development of gambling. The economic benefits to the city in terms of potential construction and casino-related jobs are worth considering, as well as the revenue that will be generated from tourists and visitors to Toronto.

The CGA urges Toronto City Council to let the process unfold, and to make a decision once all the facts are known.