After having declined the opportunity to fully back Rideau Carleton Raceway during the course of the past week, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson made an interesting announcement on Monday, October 1, just one day before city council meetings and a public information session regarding the possibility of full-blown casino gaming in urban Ottawa.
According to a report by the Ottawa Citizen, Mayor Watson said on Monday that he believes Rideau Carleton Raceway should receive preferential treatment in the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.'s process which will ultimately see the local gaming landscape reshaped in the near future, barring any significant changes
The article has also cited Watson as saying that he’d put his support for the racetrack into a formal motion at today's highly-anticipated financial committee meeting. The report goes on to state that if the committee, and eventually the full city council, approve of the principle, the OLG will seek bidders with specific proposals.
The CBC has also assembled an article regarding the situation, which contains quotes from Rideau Carleton Raceway Spokesman Alex Lawryk. In terms of how urban casinos are supposed to re-invigorate cities, the article has quoted Lawryk as saying, "You just have to look at Niagara Falls and Windsor to see what happens with a major casino. You have a lot of businesses boarded up in Windsor and the revitalization of Niagara Falls never did occur as expected."
(With files from the Ottawa Citizen and the CBC)