Casino News

Hard Rock Casino Ottawa Moves Forward with Casino Expansion Plan

Yesterday, the Hard Rock Casino Ottawa partnership that consists of HR LP Investor Inc. (owned by Hard Rock International) and RCR Investor Inc. (owned by Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Limited) officially announced that the two partners have already submitted a rezoning application that is to move forward phases 2 and 3 of its joint venture in south Ottawa.

This Thursday, the two partners unveiled further details about the C$318-million expansion plan that aims at rejuvenating the existing Rideau Carleton Raceway site and turning it into a full-scale gambling venue.

Pending required approvals, Hard Rock International and RCR plan to invest millions during a multi-phase construction process that includes a complete rebranding and remodeling of the existing raceway. The ambitious project is expected to foster local economic developments and decrease the unemployment rate in the area, creating 1,900 construction-related jobs and 2,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Breaking the Project Down into Phases

The first phase of the project includes the addition of 35 gaming tables and propelling the number of the slot machines to a total of 1250. As it can be recalled, the company was accused of “sneakily” looking for an approval from the committee of adjustment, a quasi-judicial body to expand the allowed number of gaming tables from 21 to 35.

Eventually, Ottawa’s quasi-judicial body approved the company’s request to add 35 gaming tables. Earlier this month, Casino Reports found out that the table games are already added to the Rideau Carleton Raceway gaming floor.

The second phase of the project includes the addition of 750 slot machines for a total of 2,000 and 20 gaming tables to propel the casino’s gaming capacity to a total of 55 gaming tables. As for non-gambling amenities, the second phase of the project will see the construction of the Steakhouse Restaurant with 150 seats, Hard Rock Live music venue, Hard Rock Café with 200 seats and Velvet Lounge. It is expected that the second phase of the project will start sometime in 2019 and it will be completed in 2023.

Supposing that the company receives Ottawa city council’s approval, the third phase of the project will be given the go-ahead sometime in 2023. It will include the construction of an eight-storey hotel and the addition of 20 new gaming tables phased in over 20 years. If everything goes on schedule, the whole project is expected to be finalized in 2024.

To sum up, Hard Rock Ottawa is seeking for a permission for the construction of the hotel, an increase to the permitted building height, in order to accommodate a hotel, the addition of a “theatre” as a permitted use and the 2,500 seat Hard Rock Live venue addition of 20 new live gaming tables. Last year, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has selected HR Ottawa, LP (known as “Hard Rock Casino Ottawa”) as the service provider for the Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle as part of its modernization project.