It looks as though the residents of Ottawa may still get the chance to experience their own local land based casino gambling in the future, as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is currently reviewing a city council motion to consider two casino zones within the urban boundary rather than just one, as was previously planned.
The motion was put forward last Wednesday and it suggested that the city go to the Corporation to ask for two zones, which would give the chance for Eugene Melnyk, the owner of the Ottawa Senators, to bid for a second gaming facility in the city. The motion would allow for two modest casinos rather than venues on the scale of those you would expect in Las Vegas, and on those grounds it was unanimously passed in order to be put before the finance and economic development committee meeting next month.
So, it looks as though there could be choice in terms of where to find casino video poker and all of the other games in Ottawa – something that the legal team of Melnyk might not be too pleased to hear: he had threatened legal action after the city chose to back the Rideau-Carleton Raceway as the main choice for a casino in the nation’s capital, but if they allow him a second zone then those lawyers might be out of a job.
Some have criticised this move from the council as being cowardly; Melnyk also paid for two full page newspaper adverts over the past two months which were criticising the city’s stance on the subject of the casino, and many see their latest motion as an attempt at appeasement to a man who has been seen as nothing more than a bully. The city’s lawyer even suggests that the lawsuit threats are completely baseless, even if Melnyk may have been working on plans for a casino there for more than seven years; however, if the motion passes, which it may not yet, this will all be in the past as he will not need to take any further action against the city.