A group of city councillors from Ottawa have recently come out in opposition to the planned casino expansion that is set to take place at the Rideau Carleton Raceway. The expansion was announced back in May 2017 by Hard Rock International and the Rideau Carleton Raceway, with the venue undergoing a multi-million-dollar expansion.
Ottawa Counsellors Worried About Gambling Addiction
The gambling expansion has been opposed by three city counsellors who voiced their concerns earlier this week. This occurred before the vote on whether to launch public consultations on the deal, where Hard Rock International has taken over the raceway.
The three city counsellors argued that should the casino expansion take place, it will be giving members of the public better access to gambling, which could increase the risk of gambling addiction among the citizens of the city. The counsellors want to impose several restrictions on the venue, including lowering betting limits and removing all ATM machines from the casino.
The Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, said that some of these proposals were unrealistic. He said that it is not the city’s place to micromanage people’s lives and dictate whether they can enjoy some time using slot machines. He added that the province’s job is to prevent gambling problems, while the city needs to ensure help is available to those who need it.
Hard Rock’s Plans for Ottawa Location
Hard Rock’s plans for the raceway, which were announced in May, propose adding a hotel and entertainment venue. Hard Rock hopes this will help the struggling venue. While the casino group has not submitted an official application for the expansion, it plans on doing so in the near future. It has also added that it will be meeting with Ottawa Public Health to discuss what it can do to encourage safe gambling practices and help prevent gambling addiction.
Hard Rock International is set to take over the day-to-day operations of the Rideau Carleton Raceway during the course of September.