The upcoming opening of a luxurious Vegas-style resort and casino in northwest Toronto will negatively impact Niagara Falls’ tourism, according to city officials. The $1-billion resort, which will operate as “Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto”, is expected to welcome its first visitors this summer.
The flashy Vegas-style resort is expected to appear as a strong competitor to the two casinos in Niagara Falls. The mayor of the city of Niagara Falls, Jim Diodati, explained that the revenue of the two casinos is to decline by up to 20%.
To What Extent the Casino in Toronto Will Affect Niagara Falls’ Tourism Industry?
According to market experts, the opening of the new resort will undoubtedly harm the tourism sector of Niagara Falls. Mr. Diodati revealed that most players at the two casinos in Niagara Falls are residents of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). City staff members have confirmed that 40% of the people who come to the Falls are residents of Ontario.
In an interview with the media agency Global News, city CAO Jason Burgess explained that it is hard to provide an exact impact assessment of the resort’s opening on foot traffic. City officials of Niagara Falls hoped to attract over 15 million visitors, but they will have to set a more realistic objective now. The rise of online gambling is another obstacle that may set back the recovery of the city’s tourism industry. Many players prefer the convenience of online gambling, which means less people tend to visit land-based casinos.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the city of Niagara Falls received $20 million a year in revenue for hosting Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara under an agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG). City officials hope to receive at least 60% of that amount in 2023. However, land-based gaming venues are still struggling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, during which the majority of entertainment and gambling establishments were forced to cease operations.
The head of the organization responsible for popularizing tourist attractions in the city explained that they should focus on promoting the Falls through marketing campaigns, targeting residents of GTA, Quebec, and the United States.
A Look Behind The Curtains of the New Vegas-Style Casino
The Vegas-style casino in Toronto is owned by Great Canadian Entertainment. The company already runs other gambling venues in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
The Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto will feature a 400-room hotel, restaurant, live entertainment venue, and Vegas-style casino.
The gaming floor will host 4,800 slot machines and over 145 table games. The new gambling facility will promote responsible gambling and feature a PlaySmart Centre to provide players with tips to keep their gambling sessions in check. Matthew Anfinson, CEO of Great Canadian Entertainment explained that the new resort is to offer a world-class experience to its visitors. The company is yet to reveal the exact day of the venue’s opening.