Senators ownership threatens to sue over casino process

The lawyer representing Capital Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Ottawa Senators, said his clients might sue over the current site-selection process for a potential casino in Ottawa.

City committee votes for Rideau-Carleton Raceway as only location for potential casino

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, middle, is flanked by his advisor Ken Villazor, left, and team president Cyril Leeder, right, at the city committee meeting Tuesday.

The group that owns the Ottawa Senators could take the City of Ottawa to court over the current site-selection process for a potential new casino in Ottawa, its lawyer said today.


Paul Webber, who represents Capital Sports and Entertainment, called the city's process "illegal and unethical" as he appeared in front of the city's finance and economic development committee along with team owner Eugene Melnyk and team president Cyril Leeder.

Melnyk has openly criticized Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and city councillors about their choice to back the Rideau-Carleton Raceway for a possible casino site.

Melnyk has paid for two full-page advertisements in local newspapers over the past two months, which indicated among other things that he has been planning for a Kanata casino for seven years.

But a few hours after Melnyk and his team spoke to the city committee, it passed a motion to support the raceway as the only casino site.

It still has to be decided on by city council.

Melnyk says he has no financial issues

The Sens owner also said Tuesday the financial future of the Ottawa Senators could be at stake if he does not find another revenue source, such as a casino.

Melnyk said he currently has "no financial issues," though.

Webber, meantime, threatened to go after the city "Friends of Lansdowne-style" and "turn over every stone" for what they call "bonusing."

He also blamed the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation for putting the city in the current situation.

The Friends of Lansdowne reference is to the group that doggedly fought the ultimately successful Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group plan to renovate Lansdowne Park.

Also at the meeting Tuesday, MPP Lisa MacLeod and raceway spokesman Alex Lawryk encouraged the city to continue to back the Rideau-Carleton Raceway and approve the current plan.

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