This is going to be a very different kind of research report. It is a research report without any directly applicable research. A lot of numbers have been thrown about with regard to the establishment of a casino or mixed-use, multi-purpose, destination, resort, hotel (casino) somewhere in the downtown core of the city of Toronto. All of the players for the downtown location seem to prefer some variation of the highly visible, in the heart of the city, waterfront location. The interesting thing is that so far, all we have are numbers — lots and lots of numbers. The important thing is that all of them are meaningless.
This report will not add to the already overly abundant collection of completely meaningless numbers that are being thrown around and at the citizens of Toronto and Ontario. Rather, this report will ask questions — most of which have gone unanswered and unaddressed so far during this process. If the city of Toronto decides it wants to allow a casino in the downtown core of the city and on or dominating a significant place on the limited resource that is its waterfront, the city should be well-aware to what it is saying “yes”.
The appendix provides a review of the peer-reviewed academic literature that has been published on the regional economic impact of casinos. That literature forms the basis for this report. It should be carefully noted that this report only focused on the economic impact. The social, moral, individual, and family impacts of casinos and legalized gambling are separate, but important, issues that should also be considered. However, this report only focuses on the potential regional (Toronto, GTA) impacts of a downtown casino.
This report will focus on three areas: Jobs, Neighbourhood, and City.