Eugene Melnyk Unhappy with OLG’s Hard Rock Casino Decision

Publish: 20.05.2017

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) officially accepted Hard Rock International’s $320 million bid for Rideau Carleton Raceway and Eugene Melnyk, the Ottawa Senators’ owner, is far from being pleased with such a development.

Controversial Decision?

After a lengthy period of casino proposal consideration, OLG decided to sanction the Hard Rock’s partnership with the Raceway last week and Melnyk was disappointed to find out about the update through a press release, while he also does not appreciate the way Ottawa mayor Jim Watson handled the matter.

Melnyk himself expressed his desire to start a casino development in Kanata on more than one occasion over the past five years, but has seen his efforts constantly thwarted by the authorities.

It was in 2013 that Melnyk made a bid for $500 million redevelopment of the land where the Canadian Tire Centre is located in Kanata, planning to build a casino. He didn’t get the backing of mayor Jim Watson at the time as city council moved on to back Rideau Carleton as the only viable casino location.

Melnyk’s disappointment

Melnyk made sure to voice out his discontent at the time for the fact he was not given an opportunity to at least bid before the decision was made to have OLG negotiate with the racetrack.

Given his interest in a casino project had been made public a while ago, Eugene Melnyk moved on to express his disappointment at the latest development which have effectively ruled him out of any bidding for the project.

“We have been informed about this developing situation through a third-party press release. We were never informed by the Mayor’s office and we have made it clear and very public of our interest in a casino project for some time.”, Melnik told in an email last week.