Review of Casinos in the Greater Toronto Area
Comparison of all Toronto casinos by size, game variety and GTA location.
There’s no place quite like Toronto in all of Canada. It is the most populace city in the country, the capitol of Ontario, and home to TIFF, one of the world’s largest annual international film festivals. From history and art museums to eclectic architecture – picturesque landscapes to multi-cultural demographics – Toronto has something for everyone.
If casino gaming happens to be your niche, you won’t be disappointed. It’s no Las Vegas or Cotai Strip, mind you, but within the grand density of the Greater Toronto Area, there are four casino and gaming facilities worth talking about.
Comparison of Toronto Casinos by Size, Games and Location
I’m going to order this list by location, beginning with the property that is closest to Toronto’s City Centre, and working outwards. Note that all of these locations are found within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), but also that the scale of the GTA is vast – far larger than the City of Toronto itself. Suffice it to say, you may need to do a good bit of driving to get to these gaming spots.
Delta Bingo & Gaming – City of Toronto
1799 St Clair Ave W
Toronto, ON M6N 1J9
|Slot Machines: None|
Table Games: None
Other: Bingo, Tap ‘n Play
First up is Delta Bingo & Gaming. It is the only destination to make the list that’s actually located within Toronto City, right on St. Clair Avenue. Its prime location is the only reason it made this list at all. Delta Bingo & Gaming doesn’t actually offer any real casino games. What it offers is non-stop bingo action and a large room full of games they like to describe as “Vegas style machines”.
These machines look like the same slot machines found in Vegas, true, but they’re not; far from it, in fact. They’re actually branded Tap ‘n Play machines, which are the same as the notorious TapTix machines found in other parts of Ontario. A genuine slot machine has entirely unpredictable results with every single spin. The winning conditions for Tap ‘n Play machines are more akin to playing scratch-off lottery tickets.
Imagine throwing a stack of 100 scratchies into a box. You know beforehand that only 10 of them are winners, and that the prizes are preset; maybe five $0.10 winners, three $0.50 winners, one $2 winner and a $5 winner. Clicking play on any of Delta Bingo’s “Vegas style machines” is nothing more than sticking your hand in that box and pulling out a scratch card.
On the bright side, the machines only cost as little as $0.10 to play, and bingo fans will have a blast. So if you’re looking for cheap gambling entertainment within the city limits, it’s not a bad choice.
Casino Woodbine – Etobicoke
555 Rexdale Blvd
Etobicoke, ON M9W 5L1
|Slot Machines: 2,900+|
Table Games: 350+
Other: Horse Racing
Outside of Toronto itself, the nearest gambling establishment is Casino Woodbine, about 30km northwest in the city of Etobicoke; approximately a half hour drive from Toronto’s city centre. It wasn’t long ago the property hosted little more than a racetrack and slot parlour, but an ongoing expansion brought more slot machines and the first table games – both live dealer and electronic varieties – to the facility in 2018.
Now, Woodbine Casino is the largest gambling destination in GTA, boasting more than 2,900 slot machines, 250 eTable games, 100 live dealer table games, and 100 dealer-assisted “Stadium” games.
On the negative side, the change of ownership (Great Canadian took over in 2018) seems to have had an adverse effect on the overall atmosphere of the establishment. Don’t take my word for it. Check out some of the actual visitor reviews written in the last five months (October 2019-February 2020). You’ll be hard pressed to find a positive one.
They aren’t random, either. Almost every one complains of a miserable, mean-spirited staff. It didn’t used to be this way. Hopefully, once all the expansion work is done, it will get better.
Elements Casino Mohawk – Campbellville
9430 Guelph Line
Campbellville, ON L0P 1B0
|Slot Machines: 1,500+|
Table Games: 60 live + eTables
Other: Horse Racing
This popular location was recently upgraded from ‘OLG Slots at Mohawk Racetrack’ to the official Elements Casino Mohawk. Similar to Casino Woodbine, the change came following the managerial takeover of Great Canadian Gaming. since then, the slots parlor was expanded into a full casino. The number of slots and video poker machines rose from 900 to 1,500+. Some of the old electronic table games remain, but the floor was expanded to include 60 live dealer tables. In addition, the facility remains the home of a horse racing track, complete with live and simulcast betting.
You’ll find this growing gambling destination about 65km east-southeast or Toronto; about a 45-50 minute drive from downtown Toronto via ON-401 W. The casino offers all of the latest slot machines, including a solid selection of progressive jackpot games. Slots are playable from $0.01 to $5. Table games are split onto the casino’s two floor. The first floor has eTables, with live dealer games available on the second level. You’ll find all the usual titles – blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, ultimate holdem, and more.
Prior to the renovations, this property got good reviews for a friendly staff and good, cheap food. The staff continues to delight guests, and the food is stilling rated ‘good for the price’. The difference is that players are finally complimenting the game variety. There’s a lot more space, and far more games to choose from; especially the live table action, which is drawing a lot more players to the casino.
Great Blue Heron Casino – Port Perry
21777 Island Rd
Port Perry, ON L9L 1B6
|Slot Machines: 600+|
Table Games: 50
Other: Poker Room
Great Blue Heron may be GTA’s smallest gambling destination, and the furthest from Toronto, but it has a big reputation and plenty of features to brag about. There are more than 600 slot machines and 50 table games, including a collection of state-of-the-art “Stadium” games. Slots start at $0.01, blackjack at $3, and roulette a $1 per bet with a $5 per spin minimum. The new Poker Pit was opened in December 2019, featuring Holdem and Omaha games from Noon to 4am daily.
Depending on where you’re coming from, it may seem a bit out of the way. Great Blue Heron Casino is located on Scugog Island just outside of Port Perry, just over an hour’s worth of drive time northeast of Toronto. Operated by the First Nation Mississaugas, it is one of the region’s many tribal casinos, officially licensed by the OLG as a charitable gambling facility. The gaming area is currently listed at 15,000 square feet, but an ongoing expansion, due for completion in June 2020, will add another 20,000sq.ft. of gaming and dining space. They are also throwing up a 100-room hotel.
As for reputation, the Great Blue Heron has a good one. There are still some complaints that it’s not large enough, but that’s being addressed with the expansion. A lot of people are glad to see the return of poker, and everyone raves about the prime rib buffet.
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