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Citing tourism and job creation, Mayor of Ottawa calls for a casino

Brain Games/Special to the Globe and Mail

Ottawa's mayor is calling for a casino in the capital city to cash in on the demand for gambling.

Jim Watson says he's tired of seeing gamblers in the city head across the border to place their bets at a casino in nearby Gatineau, Que.

He says that's costing Ottawa jobs, and that a casino in the city would boost economic activity and tourism.

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Mr. Watson is beginning a process that will see the public weigh in on the idea.

The mayor says after initial public comment the city will vote on a casino report and then possibly approach the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., followed by more public meetings next year.

Ottawa isn't the only Ontario city mulling a casino bid — Toronto's executive committee will discuss a casino proposal from the OLG in the coming weeks.

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