Ottawa to feature a new casino


Credits: Ottawa Citizen

Hard Rock announced that it has been selected to feature a casino in Ottawa, where the Rideau Carleton Raceway is currently located.

Canada.- The capital city of Canada, Ottawa, will soon feature a new casino after Hard Rock International was selected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to be the provider of a Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle 1.

The upcoming casino will be featured on the existing Rideau Carleton Raceway, which is set to experience a US$320 million renovation and construction process. Andrew Wright, director of the raceway, said: “We are delighted to bring the iconic Hard Rock International casino operator to Ottawa. Rideau Carleton Raceway has partnered with Hard Rock to build a major tourist destination that will offer multi-level entertainment, energized horse racing, a broader market and substantial economic benefits for all of our employees, patrons, and the Ottawa community.”

Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen, said that they’re thrilled to have been chosen by OLG to create Hard Rock Casino Ottawa. “This is a crucial first step towards a larger strategic vision of our world-class brand’s expansion efforts in Ontario and throughout Canada. We are honoured to partner with RCR, a reputable and longstanding member of the Ottawa community, and look forward to working with both the RCR and OLG team members through the transition and beyond,” said the official on a statement released on Monday.

The construction phase will create up to 1900 jobs, and more than 2000 when the facility is finished. Even if it still needs to obtain the required approvals, it is expected that the first phase of the casino will be completed within the first year of operations. Last February, OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti stated that the winning bidder would be picked out of a list of up to five pre-qualified contenders. In November 2012, the agency requested for pre-qualifications to narrow down to five the number of bidders. Bitonti didn’t reveal the amount of original candidates but said that there are currently “a lot of sensitivities” among the final five. Moreover, the privatisation plan got delayed multiple times due to a number of obstacles that forced OLG to cancel its requests for pre-qualifications. From provincial elections to a labour strife, the process went through several difficulties but it’s now on the finish line.

Furthermore, Hard Rock has recently acquired the former Trump Taj Mahal from Atlantic City, and has expanded its business after setting a Japanese division and multiple expansion plans, such as the one in Iowa and Nevada.