Depending on who you ask, Rexdale could be host to the next Las Vegas Strip — or a new proposed casino could suck money from the local economy.


Reaction to a possible gambling house varied yesterday. As the TTC wavers and the mayor threatens to cut services, city councillors have suggested gambling revenues from a possible casino at the recently approved Woodbine entertainment complex could save the ailing municipal budget, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars per year.


The Woodbine Live development, near highways 409 and 427, which will build shopping centres, clubs and a hotel around the Woodbine racetrack, is expected to add 10,000 jobs and revitalize a neighbourhood better known for violence and poverty.


Absent from the plan was a full casino, though Woodbine already has about 2,000 slot machines. But early this week, the area’s counsellor, Rob Ford, said the plans left a gap for one, should the provincial government lift its cap on them.


Draining dream

  • Experts say that relying on gambling revenues can be a drain to a community. In an area like Rexdale, community advocates worry about tempting its low-income residents with a glossy get-rich-quick dream that hides the problems of a community suffering a critical lack of infrastructure.