Betting against a downtown casino was easy money
I cashed a $100 bet when Toronto city council drove the final stake through the heart of the proposed downtown casino, and if I wasn't such a nice guy, it would have been $1,000.
But Paul Godfrey has rolled nothing but snake eyes over the past few days. He was dumped by the Liberal goverment as chair of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. last Thursday, and then his high-flying plans for a waterfront resort casino were kneecapped Tuesday by council.
He was supposed to be the rainmaker for the U.S. casino operators so anxious to set up shop here. They were banking on his persuasiveness in local political matters, believing he could wave a magic wand over city hall and stack a vote to approve a casino.
There was a time, not so long ago, when he could. But every dog has his day, and Big Paulie's seems to have passed.
A lot of people around here also bought into the Godfrey mystique, thinking he need only pull a few strings from the background to make a casino happen, including a friend of mine who likes to back his opinion with a wager.
My read of the situation was that council wouldn't vote for a casino unless it was literally a license to print money for the city. I was certain that wouldn't be the case (and said so in previous blogs), since there is only so much to go around, and the province doesn't want to share any more than is absolutely necessary.
My buddy told me I was wrong, and that the forces behind the downtown casino push - Godfrey chief among them - were so powerful that they could not be resisted.
He's a poker dealer at the sporting gentlemen's club where I play cards, and is constantly in action with a bet on something or other. He proposed a $1,000 wager, which I immediately accepted.
I thought it over and didn't like the idea of taking that much dough from a pal who can't afford to lose it. So I said why don't we keep it friendly and make it $100, just enough for the loser to wince a little when he hands over the money.
I'll be collecting on my bet when I see my friend, but there'll be no payday for Paulie.