OLG opens Ottawa casino to bidding war

The "request for pre-qualification" was released by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation inviting companies to bid on a potential new casino in Ottawa.

Rideau-Carleton Raceway might be moved if it wins bid, OLG said, but move not guaranteed

There will be a maximum of 600 seats at gaming tables and 2,000 slot machines at a potential Ottawa casino, according to the OLG document.

The Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation has officially invited companies to bid for a potential new gambling facility in the Ottawa area.

A "request for pre-qualification" was sent out Friday looking for bidders for a 20-year contract for a new casino with an application deadline of Mar. 7, 2013. The OLG stated it wants to choose the winning bid by the end of 2013.

Among the 66 pages of the document was a specific section regarding the size of a new casino, if it were to be built in the national capital region.

The document states there would be a maximum of 2,000 slot machines and 600 seats at gaming tables. The city would only receive part of the revenue from the slots, but not from the tables, the document added.

The process of sharing revenue was also divulged Friday, which is of particular interest to casino operators.

The OLG would take all the revenue from the casino and pay the operator about $30 million. A 70 per-cent fee would be charged to the operator if revenue passes a certain amount and a 20 per-cent fee would be paid to OLG from V.I.P. revenues.

The operator would be able to keep all revenue from any nightclub or other side enterprises it includes in the facility.

Rideau-Carleton might be re-located if bid wins

OLG also said it wants just one casino in Ottawa, which it said, "represents a valuable commercial opportunity that has not been fully explored."

The area currently has the Rideau-Carleton Raceway on Albion Road in south Ottawa and the Casino du Lac Leamy across the river in Gatineau.

The OLG said the winning bidder would take the close to 300 existing OLG staff members at the raceway and keep them on payroll for at least one calendar year.

Also, the OLG said it might be necessary to relocate the current raceway facility if the group that runs it wins the bid, but it did not guarantee it would be moved.

The 20-year contract would also include options to extend for one decade at a time.


With files from the CBC's Alistair Steele