Casinos and gambling definitely don’t have the best reputation, however, they have a great potential to boost local economy and increase the state budget. Something like that could soon happen in Pickering, where a new gambling complex is going to be built.
Toronto’s eastern neighboring municipality should become home to Durham Live, a huge entertainment complex that should contain a hotel, a casino, a water park, film studios and convention spaces. Toronto Sun reported that people behind the project hope the new complex could generate $625 million annually in tax revenues.
The new complex is scheduled to be opened in 2019 near the border with Ajax, more specifically near Highway 401. The deadline is pretty strict but not impossible to meet. The new complex will become the second largest real estate projects in Pickering, only inferior to the local nuclear power plant.
The plans for a new complex weren’t met without criticism
Gambling is always a sensitive subject. Although Durham Live is supposed to bring great economic benefits to Pickering, there always issues that need to be dealt with.
The first of them regards Ajax Downs, an Ajax based horse racing track with a long history and a strong position in Canadian horse racing in general. The provincial rules dictate that there can be only one gambling facility in the provinces of Pickering, Ajax and Whitby. If the new casino is opened, Ajax Downs will be closed, at least if nothing else changes.
Apart from that, the idea of a new casino complex was met by opposition of people that are strongly against gambling and believe that nothing good can result from a new casino. That being said, the mayor of Pickering expressed his support for the project. The Ontario Municipal Board has also ruled in favor of the development plans.
Is gambling bad for the community?
There are many arguments to be had against gambling. It’s definitely true that this ill-advised activity has the potential to ruin lives, but at the same time it’s able to create new jobs and be beneficial for local communities. However, conservatives generally believe that gambling is inherently bad and any gambling-related project should not be put forward.
This is noticeable even in the online gambling market, which operates in a legal “grey area” across Canada. The gambling regulations in Canada fall under provincial jurisdiction, which means the rules are not the same across the country, however, generally speaking it’s illegal to operate an online casino business in Canada.
That being said, it’s not illegal for the players to participate in online gambling. There are hundreds of offshore online casinos in which Canadian players can play without worrying about any sorts of punishments from the local authorities. The operators might get into trouble by offering betting opportunities to Canadian players, but that doesn’t endanger the players themselves.
With a limited selection of brick-and-mortar casinos, online gambling can be considered a quite interesting alternative for players interested mostly in gambling itself and not in other entertainment options available in complexes like the planned Durham Live.