The Ontario government says there will be no casino at Ontario Place after a panel it convened to consider the matter advised against it.

Tourism Minister Michael Chan said Wednesday the province has accepted the recommendation of chair John Tory and the panel’s other members that no casino be built at the waterfront park just west of downtown Toronto.

“On behalf of the McGuinty government, I have accepted the panel’s recommendation,” Chan said in a statement.

“When a request for qualifications is issued to the international community later this year, we will ask that submissions address parkland, commercial, retail, residential, recreation and entertainment uses for the Ontario Place site — not a casino.”

Tory told a town hall Tuesday night there were better uses for the site, which the province hopes to redevelop by 2017.

“We just think a site like this, close to the water as it is with all the heritage and all of the open space that’s there now would become totally dominated by a casino and we just don’t think it’s the right place for it,” Tory said.

Coun. Mike Layton, who has been fighting to keep casinos out of the city, was closely watching the panel’s decision.

“#OPtownhall begins with John Tory saying ‘Ontario Place is not the place for a casino,’” Layton tweeted. “Not sure I’ve cheered Tory before, but it felt good.”

Recently, two high-profile Las Vegas casino developers have talked about building facilities in Toronto.

Reports said Caesars Entertainment Corp. was interested in building a casino at Exhibition Place or on the waterfront. And MGM was considering the Ex and the Port Lands.

Ontario Place has cost the province about $20 million a year and attendance has dropped from 2.5 million when it opened in 1971 to about 300,000 a year, Chan said.

Last year, Ontario Place offered free admission for its 40th anniversary and, as a result, had more than 900,000 visits.

Though most of the park is now closed for the redevelopment, the moneymaking Molson Amphitheatre, Atlantis pavilion, marina and parking lot remain open.

With files from Erin Criger