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Ontario’s Planned Legal Changes May Lead to Strikes at Woodbine Casino

For many gambling enthusiasts in Toronto and the surrounding areas, the effort put in to modernising the laws around online casino gambling and local land based legislation is great news. With the concept of online gambling being some of the most ambiguous in the world in Canada, any effort at change are welcome news. Indeed, Ontario currently leads the world in terms of the thoroughness and effort going into ensuring that residents can gamble safely and freely while protecting governmental interest, particularly from a revenue perspective.

One aspect of the OLG’s plans for the state in terms of modernisation is the privatisation of many facilities across the state, with the OLG already in the process of deciding which local operations should form part of the privatisation plan. However, as would be expected, the strong possibility of Woodbine forming a part of this new plan has not been met with an entirely positive response, particularly staff at Woodbine that are represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

The 20th of March was something of a pivotal day in developments as the employees, amid the uncertainty of what OLG was planning to effectively do with their jobs, voted for strike action. The key issue behind the vote was summed up by Sharon De Sousa, PSAC Regional Executive Vice President for Ontario when she stated “With 55% of Woodbine’s workforce in part-time positions, how can this industry continue to make the claim of providing good, stable jobs?”

The uncertainty surrounding the approval of a brand new land based casino in Toronto adds to the issue, as it would provide a natural new place of employment for the staff at Woodbine, who are already well versed in casino operations. However, the Woodbine staff and their union simply do not want to be faced with the prospect of potentially losing their work at the racetrack on the off chance that the new casino is given the go ahead, something that is already looking extremely unlikely following statements from Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, who has said that the city will not receive any additional help with costs and operations than one located anywhere else in the province. Naturally, money is the core issue and the state wants a guaranteed share based on a set figure rather than a percentage, and the likes of MGM, who were touted as being the powerhouse behind the development, are unlikely to go for such a deal in spite of recently running a recruitment day for casino staff in Toronto to gauge interest.

As always, you can keep up to date with all of the land based and online casino developments at Woodbine, in Toronto and throughout Canada right here at Online Casino Canada.

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