Skip to main content
casino proposal

Tourists view the water show at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino on the ‘strip’ in Las Vegas, Nev.

A U.S. luxury resort company has sent a letter to Toronto's city manager expressing its interest in building a high-end facility complete with a casino.

"Much of the public debate on this issue has centred around a false choice between an outdated big-box slots model and no casino," reads the letter, signed by Wynn Resorts Development president and chief operating officer Gamal Aziz.

"I am writing to you to make it clear that we would offer another option. That is to create a luxury resort and spa experience that will confirm Toronto as a major global tourist and convention destination, one that will integrate seamlessly into the urban fabric of the city while standing out as an architectural asset."

The letter was written on Monday, and a copy was obtained by The Globe and Mail. It goes on to say Wynn would work closely with the city "to find an appropriate location" and would include fine dining and casual restaurants, a five-star spa, hotel rooms looking out at the Toronto skyline, and a convention facility.

Wynn's chairman is mogul Steve Wynn, who helped revitalize the Las Vegas casino strip and opened the Mirage, Treasure Island, and Bellagio. The company also has luxury facilities in Macau. The letter says Wynn contributed millions of dollars to the communities it serves last year and "would continue that tradition in Toronto."

The company has been rumoured for months to be interested in a Toronto casino.

"It is not the role of Wynn Resorts to determine whether or not Toronto welcomes gaming. That decision needs to be carefully considered by the city and should be made according to the needs and aspirations of the leaders of Toronto," the letter says.

"But because it appears that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation will locate a casino in the GTA, we feel that Toronto should control its own destiny and select a company that would build a resort property reflective of your city's world-class standing."

The casino issue will go before Mayor Rob Ford's cabinet-like executive committee later this month, and a full council vote is expected in early April.

Interact with The Globe