Michael Leven, president of the Nevada-based Las Vegas Sands Corporation, owners of The Venetian, addressed the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto showing support for the proposed casino project. He expressed interest in zoning the casino alongside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC).
“We think the conventon centre needs a boost,” he told his audience of business people. “It needs the activity that will drive more business, more people and more excitement into the downtown community.”
In addition to construction of a casino and convention centre, the $2-billion proposal calls for upscale retail outlets, a skyscraper hotel and 2,000 additional parking spots. The MTCC would be expanded with additional ballrooms and meeting space, Mr. Leven said.
He stated that the casino project adjacent to the MTCC would also help push Toronto higher on the worldwide convention list. Toronto now sites at number 62.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has said he favours a casino in the downtown, but prefers the Port Lands or Exhibition Place because of the extra revenue the city would collect as landlord.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is preparing a tender process for one Greater Toronto Area (GTA) casino but they will not impose it if the community does not support the move.
Ever since the OLG announced plans to build a casino in the GTA last year, three major casino companies have made their pitch including Caesars, MGM Resorts and Las Vegas Sands.