2 Ottawa casinos still in the cards, for now

A motion to apply for two casino zones passed through city council unanimously Wednesday, meaning councillors will further discuss the possibility in an August commitee meeting.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation says it's reviewing city council motion

Two casinos remain a possibility for Ottawa and the issue will see more debate in August.

Ottawa city council has sent the casino issue back to the committee stage after a motion was approved to consider two casino zones within the urban boundary.

The motion was put forward Wednesday suggesting the city ask the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation for two zones, which would allow Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk to bid for a second gambling facility.

Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches said the motion would mean two "modest" casinos, not large-scale facilities that resemble Las Vegas. The motion passed unanimously and will be considered at the finance and economic development committee meeting next month.

The motion to ask for two zones was the city's solution after already backing the Rideau-Carleton Raceway as its main choice for a potential casino in the national capital's zone.

At committee last week, Melnyk's lawyer threatened possible legal action if the city continued to support the raceway as the only possible casino location.

OLG needs to be convinced

The city's lawyer, Rick O'Connor, did say at city council that the lawsuit threats were "baseless," but city council seemed like they wanted to appease Melnyk.

Melnyk had paid for two full-page newspaper advertisements over the past two months criticizing the city's casino stance.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says he's been working on plans for a casino in Kanata for seven years. (CBC)

But OLG's rules state the city can only have one zone for a casino. It would have to change its policy for the city's motion to come to fruition.

In an emailed statement, the OLG said it's aware of city council's motion.

"We will work with government to review it when we receive it," the statement reads.

There were a few key issues that passed through city council Wednesday and it was one of those meetings where the rubber stamp was used in quick succession.

In the early minutes, councillors approved the demolition of the old Union du Canada building, the almost $1-billion plan for western light rail and making the Laurier Avenue bike lanes a permanent fixture.