Toronto isn’t the only big Canadian city looking to launch a new casino; the nation’s capital is also considering the possibility. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson would like to see a new casino built in his city, to stand between local residents and Montreal’s gambling venues.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Watson is tired of seeing Ottawa citizens making their way across the border to gamble in Quebec’s casinos. He would rather see the money spent within the borders of his own province.
Ottawa residents contribute a vast percentage to the profits of Quebec’s casinos. Montreal’s Casino du Lac-Leamy generated $116 million in the last financial quarter while Casino de Charlevoix and Casino de Mont-Tremblant brought in $12.7 million and $4.7 million, respectively. Should the city of Ottawa be able to recover at least a small portion of that revenue, then it would present a huge boost to the local economy.
The casino is more than a cash grab to Watson, however. He believes that it will help to create more jobs for local residents and its profits will help the local government make infrastructure repairs.
On the other hand, addiction experts are not convinced that building a new casino is the right decision. They believe that increasing accessibility to gambling will lead to an increase in gambling addiction rates. The public will have the last say, however, as the issue will be voted on this year.