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Urbanist Richard Florida thinks a Toronto casino would be an “unmitigated disaster”

Urbanist Richard Florida thinks a Toronto casino would be an "unmitigated disaster"
(Image: Richard Florida, Ed Schipul; casino chip, Sam DeLong)

With the politicking already underway on the prospect of a swanky Toronto-area casino, we were craving some straight talk on urban gambling dens. Enter imported urban theorist (and trick-or-treating expert) Richard Florida, who bluntly rejected the idea on Metro Morning earlier today. “If you polled virtually every urbanist and everyone who’s studied urban economic development—Conservative, Liberal, NDP, right, left, centre—everyone would agree that casinos, as an economic development tool, are an unmitigated disaster,” Florida said. His rationale: the costs associated with keeping a casino open, like a higher police presence to deal with more crime, far outweigh any of the cash it would generate. Florida also sarcastically described Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation chair Paul Godfrey as “uniquely qualified among all economists who ever studied that issue in the history of the world.” Yikes. Imagine what he’d say about Godfrey’s plan to open a temporary casino while the permanent one is being built. Listen to the entire segment [Metro Morning] »

(Images: Richard Florida, Ed Schipul; casino chip, Sam DeLong)

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