Councillor Josh Matlow

CP24: MGM, Bunny Ranch eyeing Toronto as destinations

April 17, 2012


Toronto may one day be known as Sin City of the North if one of the world’s largest gambling companies and a notorious brothel get their way.


According to reports, MGM Resorts International is interested in opening an entertainment complex, including a casino and hotel, in Toronto, while Nevada’s infamous Moonlite Bunny Ranch has expressed its desire to open up shop after the courts struck down Canada’s bawdy-house laws.


MGM Resorts International’s development staff recently visited Toronto and has hired a local firm, Sussex Strategy Group, to make its case at city hall, according to a report in Tuesday’s Globe and Mail.


At a meeting last week, MGM associates had information discussions about a casino with Mayor Rob Ford’s staff, a dozen councillors and political aides, with the company exploring a $2 billion to $6 billion investment in the city, the newspaper reported.


“It’s an amazing market, it’s an amazing city,” Alan Feldman, MGM’s senior vice-president of public affairs, told the Globe and Mail. “We’d be prepared to invest an awful lot in the development of the concept.”


MGM Resorts International owns several gambling destinations, including Bellagio, Luxor, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage in Las Vegas, and properties in Detroit and Dubai.


Meanwhile, the people behind the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel near Carson City, Nev., are considering an outpost in Canada, according to a report in the Toronto Sun.


Owner Dennis Hof told the newspaper he is planning to scout possible locations in Toronto in June.


“I see Toronto as a classy European kind of city with flair and style,” Hof said.


Hof’s Bunny Ranch may be the world’s best-known brothel, largely due to the HBO series “Cathouse,” which follows the lives of workers at the bawdy house.


Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was caught off guard when he was asked his thoughts on the bunny brothel.


At first, he didn’t know what the reporter was referring to but when it was explained to him, McGuinty laughed nervously and said “We’re not going there. Next question.”


Toronto Coun. Josh Matlow is opposed to both proposals.


On Tuesday, he tweeted the following message: “What happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas. I won’t be supporting either the casino or brothel proposals for Toronto.”


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