Ottawa’s Mayor, Jim Watson, has said that he thinks the city would be missing out if it doesn’t expand its gaming facilities. Watson said that all you have to do is look at the Casino du Lac-Leamy’s car park to realise how much money the capital is missing out on.
Watson said, “I think in any business, competition is a good thing, and we’ve ceded the gaming file to Gatineau for years. A lot of Ontario gambling dollars are being left in the province of Quebec. I think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep those dollars in our city.”
Encouraged by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s bid to increase gambling revenues through new and expanded casinos, Ottawa’s city council has asked the OLG to create a second casino zone in the region. The idea is to protect Rideau Carleton Raceway and its 1,250 slot machines while still allowing for other bidders to build a casino elsewhere.
Watson has also instructed city staff to carry out a full study of the economic and social impacts a new casino would have and he has said that a casino will not be “imposed” on the community should the council decide it is not a good deal for the city.