Casinos are exactly like state-subsidized “smoking palaces,” according to Marcus Gee

Casinos are exactly like state-subsidized “smoking palaces,” according to Marcus Gee

(Image: Ian McKellar) 

We thought Richard Florida’s disdain for casinos was intense, but the Globe and Mail’s Marcus Gee may have him beat. Today, the columnist reproaches Ontario for wanting to open a casino—excuse us, “entertainment destination”—in Toronto, writing that a casino on the waterfront makes as much sense as building a state-funded “smoking palace.” In Gee’s eyes, gambling is a vice, just like smoking, and governments shouldn’t be looking to make money off the weaknesses of the vulnerable (in this case, the approximately 340,000 problem gamblers in Ontario). With both Adam Vaughan and Mike Layton bringing motions before council today to oppose a waterfront casino, Gee makes his case in pretty extreme terms, writing that “hospitals will have to deal with the wrecked health of desperate gamblers” and kids “will never finish their education because they become hooked on gambling.” Bleak? Yes. Toronto’s future? We’ll have to wait and see. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »