‘Concrete progress’ made on first Canadian Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Ottawa

The new casino will feature 1,500 slot machines and a Hard Rock sportsbook

Construction has officially begun on the future Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Ottawa, the capital’s newest tourism and entertainment attraction.

Fronted by Hard Rock International, the new casino will include 1,500 slot machines, 40 live-action table games, a Hard Rock Sportsbook, high-limit gaming and a Baccarat room, while the tradition of horse racing at the site will also continue.

Construction on the $467m (USD$350m) project is expected to finish in Spring 2025 with the Rideau Carleton Casino – the site of the new facility – continuing to operate until the renovation and rebranding of the property to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Ottawa is complete.

“It’s finally happening,” remarked Helen MacMillan, General Manager of Rideau Carleton Casino, Future Hard Rock. “After experiencing delays due to the pandemic, we are extremely excited to be making concrete progress on our plans to bring this amazing facility to life for our guests and team members, and for Ottawa’s residents and visitors.”

The 150-room Hard Rock Hotel, meanwhile, includes 22 suites, several restaurants, bars and lounges, and a 1,800-seat Hard Rock Live theatre.

Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer at Hard Rock International, commented: “We are excited to be one step closer to bringing our iconic brand and rich music history to the people of Ottawa and the surrounding region. I wish to thank the provincial and municipal elected officials who helped us get here today.

“We are especially grateful to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) who have been incredibly supportive in helping make this possible. We appreciate our partnership with them.”

The first Canadian Hard Rock Hotel & Casino won’t just provide casino players and sports bettors with a new entertainment destination, it is expected to generate ‘significant’ tax revenues for the city of Ottawa and the province of Ontario as well.

Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, said: “The new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino represents a significant investment in the south end of our city. It will create new jobs and will build on the existing attraction at Rideau Carleton Casino.

“I know many residents of the city are looking forward to enjoying this space and it will also be another great addition as a tourist attraction in Ottawa.”

Since the gaming site of Rideau Carleton Casino was added in February 2000, Ottawa operators have generated approximately $8m annually with over $124m in total payments from the OLG for hosting within the national capital region.

An additional $1.3m plus per year has been invested in local sponsorships and nonprofits to support local communities.

“This is an exciting day for the City of Ottawa and our colleagues at Hard Rock and a proud day for OLG,” said Duncan Hannay, OLG CEO & President. “The plans we are advancing here and with our other land-based gaming partners, are providing real local benefits and will support the long-term vibrancy and excitement of the casino experience in Ottawa, and across Ontario, for years to come.

“With it also being National Indigenous History Month in Canada, OLG is committed to building new pathways of understanding, respect, and action with our Indigenous and Tribal partners to advance the principles of Truth and Reconciliation. This is an important way that we at OLG continue to ‘Play for Ontario’.”

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