Another group calls for patience on casino decision
More voices are being raised before Wednesday’s vote to open bidding for a potential new casino, asking Ottawa to take more time.
Discussion around a location for the casino has evolved into a debate between keeping slot machines at the Rideau Carleton Raceway and opening a new facility downtown.
“Council will be deciding on where and if there should be a casino prior to getting the full information from city staff,” said Mike Patton of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies.
“We’re urging them to get the report first, that’s good public policy. Then make a decision based on the report."
Wednesday’s vote could give the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation the green flag to start courting potential owners of a new casino.
Ottawa can only have one casino because of provincial regulations, which some say would be trouble if the raceway loses the bidding.
“The argument right now is that a casino downtown would generate considerable more revenue than Rideau Carleton Raceway,” Patton said.
“Nobody knows that. That’s people’s opinion. Let’s do a proper business case and see if in fact it would generate more income.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has voiced his support for a Rideau Carleton Raceway bid for a new casino.
Those pushing for a downtown location said the casino should be built where the people are, including tourists at downtown hotels.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin