City keeps the dice rolling on casino project
for a review of the whole casino and gam- bling issue. The original schedule for the Monday morning session was to vote on three recommendations which included asking the province and OLG for a separate zone and a Request for Proposal (RFP) pro- cess for Rideau-Carleton Raceway so that the outlet could keep its present 1250 slots setup and receive approval for adding 21 more gaming tables. The other two original recommendations called for the OLG’s original RFP for the Ot- tawa zone to continue after a decision was made on the Rideau-Carleton Raceway RFP request and, if both the province and the OLG turned that down, then council would reaffirm its support for the raceway keeping its original slots setup and getting permis- sion to add more gaming facilities. What happened instead is the finance
committee passed a new recommendation for council to consider next month. The committee advises council to tell OLG that the City of Ottawa wants whoever wins in the current RFP process for casino gaming in the municipality to include 10 demands from council in its overall devel- opment strategy. First is a ban on any plans for 24-hour ca- sino gambling. The facility must be closed at least six hours each day with no other ac- cess to the gaming operations. There must also be restrictions on the number of elec- tronic gaming machines and a reduction in how fast those machines operate to avoid confusing players. Also any features that create or promote “a false belief in the odds of winning” are forbidden. The other recommendations include: no casino loyalty programs, no ATMs on the
gambling floor, no casino credit or holding accounts, a reduced limit on the maximum bet size, a strict daily loss maximum limit for players, and a strong casino self-exclusion program, including a mandatory player card system. The casino operation must provide monthly individual patron statements that include full membership median and av- erages for comparison against personal records of loss, frequency and duration of play at gaming tables. The facility must also specify areas where alcohol is bought and not provide alcohol service on the casino floor because it would then impair a play- er’s judgment. Council will review the committee’s rec- ommendation and also a report against ca- sino gambling fromOttawa Public Health at its September regular session.
OTTAWA | The City of Ottawa is still crap- ping out with its plans for expanding ca- sino gambling as part of its tourism sec- tor. But council may be able to change the play of the game with a new suggestion from its finance committee. Right now the provincial finance ministry has said no dice to a request from Mayor Jim Watson to help lobby the Ontario Lot- teries and Gaming Corp. (OLG) for a yes or no answer to the city’s request to allow two casino setups within the municipality. One would be a new gambling establishment while the other would see upgrading and expansion of the existing Rideau-Carleton Raceway’s slots setup. But Finance Minister Charles Sousa sent the mayor a letter rejecting the request, stating that the current OLG model for one casino in the Ottawa zone is based on “ex- tensive analytical modeling” and that how near or far it was to other major gaming centres is a factor in that modeling. The city’s finance committee met Aug. 26
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