Secretive gambling privatization needs public scrutiny

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The scheme to privatize gambling in the GTA was negotiated in secret, leading the president of the union representing workers at the Woodbine Racetrack to call for a full public inquiry.

“It reminds me of the Hwy. 407 privatization deal,”  Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 533 president Theo Lagakos told The Toronto Sun. “These negotiations were done in secret. We need some transparency because we were kept in the dark."

The latest gambling privatization scheme was announced earlier this month: two large corporations are being given a 22-year monopoly on gambling in the GTA, which the NDP estimates will cost the province hundreds of millions in revenue every year.

Less than a year ago, the province abruptly cancelled work on a similar scheme, but offered no explanation for that cancellation, nor any indication of why it's now returned to the scheme.

“Let’s open the books and see what the numbers of the taxpayer-owned casino business really are,” Lagakos said.