Melnyk Meets With Mayor Watson

Published: June 19, 2013 11:59 am EDT

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson met with Eugene Melnyk on Tuesday, June 18. Melnyk, one of the highest-profile thoroughbred owners in Canada, is upset over Mayor Watson's motion that would make Rideau Carleton Raceway the only acceptable location for casino expansion in Ottawa.

The news comes courtesy of a report by the Ottawa Citizen.

The article contains quotes from Melnyk that he gave prior to his meeting with Mayor Watson. Melnyk had been eagerly anticipating the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.'s RFP casino process to begin, and was thrown quite a curve when Mayor Watson announced his motion, which stated that the raceway would be the only acceptable location for casino expansion.

“I played by the rules and all of a sudden you’re saying those rules don’t really count,” Melnyk was quoted as saying before the meeting. “I’m very disillusioned right now, and it’s not a pleasant thing to deal with and I’ve got to deal with it because you can’t operate in a one-way street and that’s what this is right now.”

Melnyk, who is also owner of the NHL's Ottawa Senators, stated that the way the casino issue in Ottawa is being handled may lead to a withdrawal of his investment in the area going forward.

Mayor Watson, who reportedly has support of local politicians on the casino expansion matter, was quoted as saying he and Melnyk had a "good exchange of views" during the meeting.

(With files from the Ottawa Citizen)

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