Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Hard Rock International choose the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino location?
In March 2012, following the direction of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) announced its modernization plan to build a new model for lottery and gaming in Ontario by expanding private sector involvement, capitalizing on private sector innovation and expertise.
Ottawa City Council pronounced the Rideau Carleton Raceway as the only acceptable location for an expanded gaming operation in Ottawa, in 2013. Gaming has taken place at the site since 1962 and slots were installed in 2000 in order to provide a boost to the harness horse-racing industry and the rural economy.
In May 2017, the OLG selected HR Ottawa, L.P. (known as “Hard Rock Ottawa”) as the service provider for the Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle 1, following a competitive procurement process. The Hard Rock Ottawa partnership consists of HR LP Investor Inc. (owned by Hard Rock International) and RCR Investor Inc. (owned by Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Limited).
What’s the status of the project?
As part of the service agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), the Hard Rock International took over the day-to-day operations of the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino in September 2017.
On February 15, 2018, Hard Rock International and the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino submitted a Zoning By-Law Amendment Application seeking changes to the zoning permit at 4837 Albion Road, the future home of Hard Rock Ottawa.
The proposed Zoning By-Law Amendment application seeks permission from the City of Ottawa for four key items related to the project site:
- The addition of a hotel.
- An increase to the permitted building height, in order to accommodate a hotel.
- Adding “theatre” as a permitted use, for the purposes of a Hard Rock Live Theatre of up to 2,500 seats.
- Approval for an additional 20 live gaming tables, which would bring the number of tables that could be phased-in over time to a total of 55.
Why are you increasing the number of gaming tables a second time?
In November 2017, the Hard Rock Ottawa received approval to increase the number of gaming tables from 21 to 35 in phase 1 of our capital investment project for the Hard Rock Ottawa expansion. We are now seeking an additional 20 gaming tables for a total of 55.
These additional tables will ensure the future Hard Rock Ottawa is competitive with Casino Lac-Leamy in Gatineau and will recapture much of the estimated $60 million that Ontario residents and tourists are spending annually across the river in Quebec.
Our request is limited to the total number of gaming positions the outline by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
What are the economic impacts to the community?
The development of a high quality gaming and entertainment destination in Ottawa will recapture spending from Ontario residents and tourists who are currently travelling to Quebec for gaming entertainment. It is estimated that nearly $60 million dollars is lost to the neighboring province on an annual basis.
Pending municipal approval, the Hard Rock and the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino plan to invest more than $318 million over the course of the six-year, multi-phased project which is expected to create close to 4,000 direct and indirect construction and ongoing jobs.
The project is funded entirely by the Hard Rock and the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino and is expected to generate $206 million in tax revenue for the Province of Ontario, the Federal Government and the City of Ottawa, after phase 3. This includes over $12.8 million in annual revenue for the City of Ottawa, once fully operational.
Over the first ten years of operations, the expansion and additional gaming tables are expected to generate $43 million in total new revenues for the City of Ottawa.
How many jobs will be created?
This project is expected to create 1,900 direct and indirect construction jobs and 2,000 direct and indirect on-going jobs in rural Ottawa and beyond. After phase 3, the number of direct on-site jobs is projected to increase from 400 today to more than 880.
How will the Hard Rock Ottawa be different than the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino?
The Hard Rock Ottawa will continue to offer the crowd-pleasing raceway programming that Ottawa residents and tourists have enjoyed over the last 55 years. We are looking to redefine the gaming experience at the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino to make Ottawa a world-class entertainment destination. Our expansion and integrated experiences will offer our guests:
- Four new restaurants; Hard Rock Café, Steakhouse, Noodle Bar, Constant Grind Coffee
- Additional gaming tables and slot machines
- Rock Shop
- Hard Rock Live entertainment theatre
- 8 story, 200-room hotel
- Expanded parking
- Four new bar/lounges
How will Hard Rock ensure responsible gaming practices are enforced?
Our commitment to Responsible Gaming is integral to our business. We are a proud recipient of the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the National Council on Problem Gaming.
We will continue to maintain high standards and offer responsible gambling programs in Ottawa, while implementing the OLG’s innovative PlaySmart responsible gaming program.
We have commitment to developing and implementing a Responsible Gaming program that will include customer awareness tactics, protection tools, employee empowerment and ongoing monitoring.
Is Texas Hold’em coming and if so, when will those tables open?
Hard Rock is known for some of the largest and most exciting poker tournaments in North America. While Hard Rock Ottawa is not planning to offer a traditional poker room in this next phase, we will continue to offer a variety of poker alternatives such as Video Poker, 3-Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em, all recently added to the floor on February 2, 2018. Visit Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino, future home of Hard Rock Ottawa, for a complete list of all the live gaming tables now being offered in our newly-renovated gaming room.
I would like to submit my resume for part time employment. Are you at the stage yet to accept resumes?
Yes! The Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino, future home of Hard Rock, is looking for new team members! We are seeking talented individuals to join the band and help launch the Hard Rock brand in the region. Members of the Hard Rock band have excellent pay potential and outstanding benefits, including medical, pharmacy, vision, dental, disability insurances, pension plan, generous paid time off, free parking, retail discounts, tuition reimbursement and much more. If you are interested, make sure to check our job listings at rideaucarletoncasino.com/careers.
Will Hard Rock Live feature local talent as well as professional talent?
Absolutely! Hard Rock hosts the world’s largest Battle of the Bands where local artists can participate locally and compete globally. In addition, we will continue to offer ongoing live entertainment that will feature local artists, separate for our concerts in Hard Rock Live.
Will my Hard Rock Player’s card be accepted at Hard Rock Ottawa?
Coming this March, we are introducing Rock Star Rewards program which will include a variety of features to streamline your gaming experience. Checkout Rock Star Rewards at the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino, future home of Hard Rock Ottawa for more details!
Other Hard Rock Player’s cards will not be accepted at our Ottawa Casino until 2020. However, if you are a higher tier (not at base) level at another one of our properties, we will honor that tier when we sign you up at our Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino, Future Home of Hard Rock Ottawa.
What steps will be taken to reduce the impact of increased traffic on Albion Road, particularly as it may affect Blossom Park and Emerald Woods?
A Transportation Impact Assessment Report (TIA) dated December 5, 2017, has been prepared by Parsons, and filed with the City in support of the application for rezoning. The TIA can be found on the City’s Development Applications site at ottawa.ca/en/business/planning-and-development. The report notes that the site’s peak traffic generation hours are not the same as the existing commuter peak hours and that its traffic generation during the existing morning and afternoon commuter peak hours is not significant.
The report concludes that the proposed three phase expansion of the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino will have “minimal impact and no requirements on the immediately adjacent road networks.”
The TIA further notes that the City’s planned improvements to the area’s arterial road system to 2031, to address current and projected peak hour congestion include:
- Widening of Lester Road to four lanes;
- Realignment and widening of Leitrim Road to four lanes;
- Albion Road widening from Lester Road to realigned Leitrim Road;
- Widening of Bank Street from Leitrim Road to Rideau Road;
- Additional capacity (through lanes) at the Albion/Leitrim intersection.
Will a direct connection be provided to Bank Street, to relieve traffic on Albion Road?
The Transportation Impact Assessment Report (TIA) dated December 5, 2017, prepared by Parsons, and filed with the City in support of the application for rezoning, does not identify a need to provide a direct connection to Bank Street.
The TIA can be found on the City’s Development Applications site at ottawa.ca/en/business/planning-and-development. A direct connection to Bank Street will be considered at the time the City processes the site plan application that will be required before any expansion of the existing facility.
Considerations will include upgrading the abandoned driveway connecting to Bank Street and advancing the construction of the Earl Armstrong extension from Albion Road to Bank Street. The TIA notes that “the provision of the Earl Armstrong Road Extension east to Bank Street… will attract some of (the) Albion Road traffic over to Bank Street, thereby minimalizing Rideau Carleton Raceway and Slots generated traffic through Blossom Park.” Hard Rock has indicated they would consider front ending the cost of construction of the first two lanes of the Earl Armstrong Extension from Albion to Bank and also that they would like a new site driveway connection to this link to help distribute site-generated traffic away from Albion Road.
What transit options will be available to get to Hard Rock Ottawa, including Para Transpo?
Hard Rock has said that when the City extends the LRT south to Riverside South they will provide shuttle bus service between the site and the station. With regard to the extension of OC Transpo and Para Transit bus service, these are the responsibilities of OC Transpo. Hard Rock will work with OC Transpo to determine how best to provide these services as the project advances.
What are some examples of live music and entertainment can we expect in the 2500 seat theatre?
Hard Rock Live is your destination for the best in live entertainment. Jammin’ concerts, hilarious comedy shows, dance performances—we host it all in our state-of-the-art concert and event venues. Hard Rock Live features both locally and internationally known artists. Examples include: Mary J. Blige, Rod Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld.
Will you be renovating the sports bar to include lounging area, bar, restaurant, betting on sports games?
Pending approval of the Zoning B-Law Application currently with the City of Ottawa, Hard Rock’s goal is to create an integrated venue that will combine the heart and soul of the Hard Rock brand, while featuring the best in live music and entertainment, world-class gaming, enhanced horse racing, and exceptional cuisine. Renovations will include improvements to the sports bar, as well as four additional restaurants over time.
How can I learn more about the Casino? I’m a patron at Casino Montreal and Lac-Leamy. I’m interested in learning more about your casino developments and offerings.
The Hard Rock Ottawa team is working hard to ensure all updates related to the project application are made available on this website www.hardrockottawa.com. Visit the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino, future home of Hard Rock, website at www.rideaucarletoncasino.com for information related to current and upcoming casino offerings and promotions.
Is there an age restriction at restaurant for Sunday buffet?
Minors (under 19) are only allowed in the dining room on Sundays 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM.
For your rewards cards, what will silver and gold equal and what are the minimum points required?
Please visit our website at www.rideaucarletoncasino.com for more information on our Rock Star Rewards program.
What kind of enhancements are expected for the race track and programming?
Our expansion project includes plans that will not only re-energize the Ottawa entertainment scene but also give our local economy and horse racing industry a significant boost. We are creating a sustainable model for racing in Ottawa for generations to come. As a member of the Ontario Standardbred Alliance, we are working with industry partners and stakeholders to ensure we are delivering improved efficiencies. This includes a recent 25% increase in purses. This was a significant priority for us and our horseracing community to ensure parity with the other signature tracks in Ontario. We are working with all of our horse racing industry stakeholders making improvements and upgrades to our tracks, barns, and adding a new, state-of-the-art tote board. These enhancements will improve the entire experience for our stakeholders and the viewing experience for our fans. We continue to be steadfast in our commitment to delivering the crowd-pleasing raceway programming Ottawa residents and tourists have enjoyed over the last 55 years!
When will the Hard Rock Ottawa casino open?
Hard Rock International and the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino are moving forward with plans for phases 2 and 3 of the “Hard Rock Ottawa” expansion project; a unique and dynamic entertainment destination planned for the Nation’s Capital. The estimated timeline for the completion of phase 3 of the Hard Rock Ottawa project is 2023. While the current facility is under construction and renovation, it remains open to the public. Please visit the Timeline webpage for additional details on each phase.