Canadian publisher Torstar to launch online casino to help fund journalism

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Canadian publisher Torstar to launch online casino to help fund journalism

Canadian newspaper publisher Torstar has announced it will launch an online casino in a bid to survive the downturn in the industry due to Covid.

The publisher owns over 70 regional and community newspapers, including the Toronto Star and the Hamilton Spectator.

Through the new gaming app, the company is aiming to generate a portion of the CA$500m (US$395) that residents of Ontario spend on online gambling every year. That figure is expected to grow in the near future as the province looks set to grant permission to new companies to operate online.

The launch of the publisher’s online casino is contingent on approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

“As an Ontario-based media business and trusted brand for more than 128 years, we believe Torstar will provide a unique and responsible gaming brand that creates new jobs, offers growth for the Ontario economy and generates new tax revenue to help support important programs in our province,” said Torstar executive Corey Goodman.

Having been controlled by a trust owned by the families who founded the Toronto Star in 1892, Torstar was recently bought by investment company Nordstar. The new owners have pledged to continue to focus on “world-class journalism”, with that pledge to be helped by the launch of its online gaming app.

Paul Rivett, chair and co-owner of Torstar, commented: “Doing this as part of Torstar will help support the growth and expansion of quality community-based journalism.”