Since a large portion of the patronage that Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara come from the Toronto area, Diodati says the city’s initial estimates are calling for a 20 per cent loss in business.
That’s bad for the two local casinos and equally bad for the city as the OLG gives Niagara City payments four times a year for being a host community to the two casinos.
Since those payments are usually between $4.5 and $5.5 million a quarter, that 20 per cent estimate could possibly mean $1 million less per quarter.
Other community officials agree with Diodati’s grim assessment.
Former St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik said it was a “terrible idea by the Ontario government to allow this development. With the proliferation of online gaming the market is only getting smaller for the in-person gaming experience. This will crush Niagara’s destination gaming sector.”
Not only will the new Toronto casino be fierce competition for Toronto customers who regularly trek to Niagara Falls, but it will also offer up competition for entertainment acts.
With the Fallsview Casino’s 5,000-seat, $130 million OLG Stage just opening for music concerts and comedy acts in October, the new Toronto casino is also expected to have a 5,000-seat venue, as well as is expected to have 4,800 slot machines and 145 gaming tables.
Fallsview, the larger of Niagara Falls’ two casinos, currently has 3,500 slots and 135 gaming tables.
The new Toronto casino will be built in the northwest Rexdale area near the current Woodbine Casino-Racetrack, which is expected to close after the construction of the new facility.