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A proposed Toronto casino threatens to plunge city council into another messy fight, with downtown the most controversial site and Woodbine race track the least.

When word of the proposal leaked last month, councillors representing downtown and East York unanimously approved a motion from Councillor Adam Vaughan to change zoning rules to prohibit a casino in their wards.

“I think a casino is a terrible idea,” Vaughan (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina) said Monday, after Ontario Lottery And Gaming Corp. confirmed it will build a big new gambling palace in the GTA.

“The bulk of the profits come out of the local economy — it hurts small businesses and sterilizes blocks around it with a host of social problems,” said Vaughan, whose ward includes the Entertainment District.

The province-owned Ontario Place, which is soliciting ideas on how to reinvent itself, and city-owned Exhibition Place have been floated as logical locations. Other possibilities include Woodbine race track, home to slot machines and a promised entertainment-retail project, and Downsview Park, the federally owned former military base.

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2012/03/12/toronto_casino_olg_proposal_threatens_to_split_council_over_location.html

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