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Ottawa Council Approves Casino

Published: October 10, 2012 9:56 pm ET

Last Comment: October 11, 2012 12:27 pm ET | 9 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

While reports indicate that the slots at Rideau Carleton Raceway may still churn past the March 31, 2013 deadline, Ottawa city councillors feel as though their hands are tied when it comes to the future of the 50-year old racetrack.

Under warning from some councillors to work with the OLG and treat its plans "with suspicion," the Ottawa Citizen reports that Ottawa councillors voted 19-5 in favour of a casino within Ottawa. According to the Citizen, that vote was closer than the tally would appear as the secrecy of the OLG process set off red flags.

“I do not welcome you as a friendly partner,” said Bay Councillor Mark Taylor to the OLG. “I see you as an adversarial business interest.”

The Citizen also indicated that the casino lobbyists have permeated the area already, with City manager Kent Kirkpatrick telling councillors his staff have already had "preliminary meetings" with as many as five interested casino operators. Those meetings haven't tipped any hands as to where these possible operators are looking to set up shop, emphasizing "that everything is still very exploratory."

One thing that was clear from the meeting: the city feels it cannot protect the gaming business at Rideau Carelton. Coun. Scott Moffat (Rideau-Goulbourn) was one of the five who voted against a casino and feels this vote spells the end for the track.

“It’s clear that Rideau Carleton Raceway isn’t [the OLG's] No. 1 priority,” Moffatt said. “In fact, I don’t think it’s a priority for them at all,” alluding that the OLG’s provincewide modernization strategy is simply geared to close the province's rural racetracks and open urban casinos.

“They have created the parameters to achieve what they want to achieve.”

October 11, 2012 - 12:27 pmSad that the city councillors

Randy Young SAID...

Sad that the city councillors of our Capital succumbed so easily to OLG pressure. A recent poll showed that over 60 % of Ottawa residents preferred to expand gaming at Rideau rather than build a downtown Casino. A perfect example of why referendums should be mandatory.

October 11, 2012 - 12:25 pmThe problem here is the

The problem here is the process. I am not a Jim Watson fan, but the OLG have tied the hands of all municipalities. A no vote would automatically mean no chance at a casino for Rideau Carleton or anywhere else in the city. Rockland could pose a threat if Ottawa voted no to continuing the process. We need to continue to focus on the root of the problem - Dalton McGuinty and his mandate to the OLG. We must continue to press MPPs, the attorney general and speaker of the house to get this show on the road. There are bills waiting to be passed, and motions waiting to be heard that could greatly benefit the horse racing industry. It is imperative that this is accomplished before March 2013. Keep up the pressure on the provincial government!

October 11, 2012 - 11:28 amOf course Ottawa city council

Diane Lord SAID...

Of course Ottawa city council would approve of such a project. Its too bad for the B tracks. Just a question of time before the new Casino in Ottawa destroy`s the economy of that little city. Welfare!!!!

October 11, 2012 - 9:08 amThis is terrible news for all

This is terrible news for all the horseman and staff at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Anyone who voted liberal last election should be disgusted with themselves. Dalton McGuinty (worst premier in Ontario history) and mayor Jim Watson are two of a kind. They eat out of the same dish. Lets hope Rideau gets some potential buyers who will buy the casino, and add some support to the local racetrack to keep it operating.

Garry Simzer

October 11, 2012 - 6:13 amSo if I understand this

Norm Brunet SAID...

So if I understand this right, before the city of Ottawa ever had the vote on this issue, 5 casino lobbyist were in Ottawa to check out possible sites.
I guess the outcome of the vote was was a foregone conclusion ? For some !

October 11, 2012 - 3:26 amAnd all the profit will flow

And all the profit will flow out of Ontario, tax free, to the good old USA. Bruce T. Winning

October 11, 2012 - 1:35 amEvolve or parish.Evolve or

Evolve or parish.Evolve or die.

Demonstrations aren't going to do it now.CHANGE THE GAME.

October 11, 2012 - 12:56 amGee who would have guessed

Gee who would have guessed it??!!

October 10, 2012 - 10:13 pmthe $6500.00 claiming race at

Tim Dean SAID...

the $6500.00 claiming race at Rideau....just became a $65 claiming race

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