Sudbury city councillors are watching closely as Toronto looks for a sweeter casino deal with the province.

A new report by Toronto city staff said half of the revenue from a new casino should go to the city — as much as $150 million a year.


Greater Sudbury councillor Joe Cimino. (City of Greater Sudbury)

Cities that already have casinos currently receive five per cent cut of the revenue generated.

In Sudbury, that adds up to about $2.5 million.

Sudbury city councillor Joe Cimino has long argued the municipality should get a bigger piece of the pie.

"Wherever the battlefront is, if another community is getting more than originally expected, maybe we get can more here as well," Cimino said.

'Tax on the poor'

But the prospect of a sweeter deal doesn’t sway city councillor Frances Caldarelli, who opposes the idea of a downtown casino.


Sudbury city councillor Frances Caldarelli. (CBC)

"Nothing would make me happy about a casino," she said. "It might make some councillors happy. It won't change my view. I think casinos are a tax on the poor."

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said no cities will receive a special casino deal and that all host communities will be treated equally.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is expected to choose its private casino operators later this year, but it could still be years before those facilities open their doors.

No word on racing

Meanwhile, the horse racing industry in Sudbury is still waiting to see if live harness racing will continue in Sudbury.

The future of racing at Sudbury Downs was thrown into doubt when the province cancelled a program that shared revenue from slot machines with race tracks. The move was part of the larger OLG modernization plan.


The horse industry in Sudbury is waiting for word on whether racing will continue at Sudbury Downs. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

A transition panel has been negotiating transitional funding agreements for tracks so racing can continue while the industry adapts to different revenue streams — which the industry says is still unclear.

The panel was expected to meet with Sudbury officials last week, but a spokesperson from the Ministry of Agriculture reported meetings are now scheduled for Tuesday.