The Ontario Lottery and Gaming commission wants to add 800 slot machines at a new or expanded gambling operation in Ottawa.
One casino operator will be awarded the contract to install 800 slot machines as well as 600 live casino table games that would return a bare minimum of $30 million annually.
As well as the $30 million fixed fee, the winning casino operator will collect 70% of the gaming revenue above a threshold that will be decided after the bidding process has been completed.
The winner operator will have the choice of running the casino at the Rideau Carleton Raceway, that already operates slots, or move the entire operation to a more convenient location in the gaming zone, which covers most of Ottawa and Rockland.
If the winning bidder chose the casino to be located at Rideau Carleton Raceway they are required to keep the 300 existing staff members at the track on their payroll for at least a calendar year.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Spokesperson Tony Bitoni said that Ottawa has not been modernized as a gaming zone and represents an excellent opportunity for expansion.
“Ottawa represents a valuable commercial opportunity that has not been fully exploited,” Bitoni said.
“The real difference is Ottawa is alone, where is the east gaming zones … are bundled together.
“The successful applicant will be asked to improve service in an underserved market as well as competitive positioning by increasing service.”
The bidding for the contract is expected to be very intense with Caesar’s and Rock Gaming one of a number of casino operators considering making a bid.
Management of the Rideau-Carleton Raceway wants to keep slot machines at the racetrack and will also submit a bid.
The Ottawa City Council will have the final say on the location after Ontario Lottery and Gaming has decided on their preferred operator.