Local moguls look to invest in T.O. casino
Gerry Schwartz’s company already has a group of casinos in its portfolio
Rosedale’s Gerry Schwartz and Forest Hill’s Larry Tanenbaum have both publicly expressed interest in placing bids on a Toronto casino. In doing so, the prominent businessmen join the likes of MGM Resorts International, behind such landmarks as Las Vegas’s Bellagio and Mirage. Schwartz is the chairman and CEO at Onex Corporation. The private equity investment firm already has a stake in a group of casinos out West. Tanenbaum’s private investment firm, the Kilmer Group, also has a gaming enterprise in its portfolio.
Since the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) revealed its plans to expand private-sector-run gaming in Ontario, the City of Toronto has yet to stake out a firm position on whether the city is willing to host a casino. Last month, the Toronto City Council executive committee referred the issue to the city manager, who is expected to report back in October.
One of its fiercest critics, Annex councillor Adam Vaughan, said all evidence suggests that a casino would create more costs, both social and economic, than benefits. He believes this will be reflected in the report.
“There’s got to be a better way to build a city, and I’m more interested in that conversation than discussing the dreams of a few millionaires and billionaires,” Vaughan said.