With this week’s announcement that the province wants to build a casino in Toronto, the most obvious question is: Where? Though they’re not ready to admit it, the province already has the answer: Ontario Place. In keeping with the location, the province has decided to build the first casino ever celebrating all things “Ontario” and have provided The Globe and Mail with an exclusive look at the games that will go on inside:
The Austerity Coat Check
As your eyes adjust to the subdued casino lighting, you make your way to the coat check, only to discover that the staff have joined CUPE and are on strike, demanding a 15-per-cent annual wage increase along with a “real living wage” tip of $15 per coat. A recording of Dalton McGuinty is on repeat saying, “In these times of austerity, the government will not give in to unreasonable wage demands.” Do you bet on CUPE? Or will a leaner, meaner McGuinty prevail? Outraged, you put $20 on McGuinty.
Free Scottish Presbyterian Cocktails
You want to play a hand of blackjack, but you feel nervous. You spot a waitress walking by with a tray of Caesars. You grab one and take a long sip, only to realize you’re drinking Mott’s Garden Cocktail. The waitress, who is dressed like a minister’s wife circa 1880, wags a finger at you, warning against “the evils of the drink.” Horror-stricken, you slip her $100, hoping for a flask of the good stuff. Instead, she lifts her skirt and flashes you two inches of pale, unshaven ankle. You both feel dirty.
Ontario Horse Racing Slot Machines
Next, you head over to the slots and sidle up to a hunched-back retiree on supplemental oxygen hauling down on a one-armed bandit. You slide a $20 chip inside your machine and pull on the lever. The reel spins, then slows, and finally stops on an image of Jim, a thoroughbred breeder from Caledon who drives a Suburban. Nothing more happens – no cherries, no gold bars, no dinging bells, no money. But Jim is $20 richer.
The Ornge Air Ambulance Shell Game
At this winner-take-all game, the province’s health minister, Deb Mathews, takes your bet of $25-million and places it under one of three toy Ornge air ambulances. Chris Mazza, Ornge’s disgraced former CEO, then shuffles the toy air ambulances in circles, then lifts all three to reveal… nothing. You ask Dr. Mazza where your money is, but he goes on sick leave and cannot take questions at this time. You ask Health Minister Matthews, who asks prominent lawyer and Liberal bigwig Alfred Apps, who designed the shell game, but he has no comment at this time. Eventually, Health Minister Matthews turns up the lights and the whole casino, being community-minded Ontarians, pitches in to look for your $25-million. But it’s gone.
Special to The Globe and Mail