Scott Stinson: There is no moral argument for the status quo on Casinos

Suppose that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. did not have a monopoly on gambling-related products in the province but on, say, bookshops. Or — getting crazy here — alcohol. Now suppose that 15 years ago, an NDP government approved the concept of big bookstores or boozecans or whatever only in towns close to the border, where they would lure Americans enticed by a weak loonie to cross the porous border. It worked for a while, but then travel restrictions and a strengthened dollar cut the business by more than three-quarters. It would seem ridiculous, in that scenario, to propose that the status quo is ideal. If the Ontario Bookseller and Magazine Corp. put forth a new business plan that called for selling its wares not just in places that used to attract tourists by the boatload, but closer to the major urban centres where the majority of customers live, it’s hard to imagine anyone saying this was not a sensible idea. And yet, as it pertains to opposition to the OLG’s proposal to put a casino somewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, subject to the whims of local politicians, that’s about where we are. Read more