Toronto Mike

Pickering awaits an economy boost thanks to a new casino complex

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.

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