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MGM-Grand-2

Torontonians will get their first look at a massive casino complex being pitched for Exhibition Place today.

MGM Resorts International and Cadillac Fairview have scheduled a briefing for 10 a.m., where they are expected to outline their “plan and vision” for the proposed casino.

Though few details are known, MGM has previously suggested that the proposal will include a permanent venue for Montreal’s Cirque du Soleil, as well as gaming, hotel, retail and conference facilities.

Wednesday’s briefing, which will be followed by a question and answer session, comes one day after a media report suggested that Mayor Rob Ford and 13 other councillors have already been given a private preview of MGM’s vision.

According to the report in the Globe and Mail, MGM has been lobbying hard for the project behind the scenes, using a suite at the Sheraton Centre across the street from city hall to pitch its ideas to city councillors.

Casino proving contentious

MGM and Cadillac Fairview are not the only ones interested in bringing a casino to Toronto, with fellow Las Vegas heavyweights Onex, Caesars and Wynn Resorts also reportedly interested.

Council is expected to vote on whether to allow a casino to set up shop in the city sometime this spring, at which point the individual proposals would be considered.

So far Mayor Rob Ford has voiced support for the idea, saying it could be a way to help bring in revenue for the city without raising taxes, however many other councillors have said the social cost would outweigh the benefits.

On Tuesday, Sandy Garossino, an anti-casino activist from Vancouver, appeared at a news conference at city hall flanked by Coun. Mike Layton.

“The studies that we have show there is no measurable (economic) impact,” Garossino said. “You’re just moving money around from inside your economy, you don’t actually bring money in to your economy.”

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