Technical support issues
The CA$318 million project includes the redevelopment of the existing Lido Carlton Raceway on Albion Road, the only gambling facility in Ottawa since 1962.
In an 18-5 vote on Wednesday, lawmakers approved by-laws amendments to Ottawa's 4837 Albion Road. This allows for the expansion of game offerings and the construction of hotels, restaurants, and even concert halls. Lido Carlton Raceway, currently operated by the American hard rock company, has 35 game tables and 1,250 slot machines. Real estate zone settings are limited to a maximum of 55, but do not mention the number of slots currently added, 2, to add the total number of slots currently added.
The game expansion project for the hard rock casino Ottawa also includes the construction of a nine-story hotel with 200 rooms and a 2,500-seat concert theater. The integrated entertainment destination will also have large parking lots, several restaurants and music souvenir exhibitions traditionally associated with the hard rock brand. Casino operators will invest at least $3.18 million over six years. According to expectations, large-scale jobs will be created during the construction period of about 300 hectares.
In Wednesday's vote, some lawmakers pointed out that the new full-fledged casino will bring more than $70 million a year to Ottawa's economy. Funds currently being used at Lakremi Casino in Gatino, Quebec. But other lawmakers shared concerns about the lack of a cap on slot machines and potential problem gambling risks.
Members who have raised major concerns
Several council members were clearly opposed to Lido Carlton Raceway's casino expansion on Wednesday. Among them was Catherine McKenney. They proposed limiting the number of slot machines in the new Hard Rock Casino Ottawa to 2,000, but the vote failed by 8-15. City officials initially thought there was a limit to the number of slots, but explained that the clause was not included in the district papers. There is no cap, but the current gambling operator said it would "not exceed the slots in the Wrightare casino."
Another major concern discussed in detail during the voting period was how game expansion would affect public health. More precisely, some lawmakers have warned that an increase in game tables and slot machines could lead to a significant increase in problem gambling among communities. Rep. Tobinusbaum suggested that the city should divert 2% of the revenue it will receive from its game operations in Hard Rock Casino Ottawa to prevent gambling in trouble.
Others, including Mayor Jim Watson, have reminded us that it is the province's responsibility to tackle problem gambling in various prevention and treatment programs. Watson added that the province should not support the province in this matter. Nussbaum's proposal was also rejected.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023