Casino Reviews

Ottawa Betting on Rideau Carleton Raceway

September 1st, 2013 ernie Posted in Ottawa No Comments »

Rideau Carleton RacewayOttawa city council, as of late summer 2013 have finally come to their senses and voted to keep Rideau Carleton Raceway as a casino in the city. There was a lot of noise about having another casino in the city or moving the casino to another location that can be larger support tables, and more slot machines, however, this seems to have gone away at the moment. These councilors cannot decide their way out of a wet paper bag, so it is surprising that they got this far. We think that they will vacillate on this decision at least one more time. In the meantime, the owners of what is known as the Scotiabank place and now the Canadian Tire place is threatening to sue if he cannot also have a casino at that location!

Rideau Carleton Raceway – One Casino

One casino for Ottawa is not enough. We need at least two with one owned by a private company. The folks in the west of Ottawa need a place to gamble. The Rideau Carleton racetrack is just too far away for most people.

Rideau Carleton racetrack is located at the south end of the city. Most tourists are not going to out there anyway. If you are staying downtown in one of the hotels, it is closer to just go over to Hull and go to the casino at Lac Lemay. This has always been the argument for another casino located downtown. However, we think that located where the current casino is, it is a better draw from Ottawa and surrounding communities than another one or a replacement casino would be in downtown Ottawa. Keep the present location and add a new casino in the west end of Ottawa.

The Market needs Competition

The market needs competition though and real competition. If the government plans to build another casino or allow one to be operated in Ottawa, frankly it is a waste of time. We would rather go to Akwesasne in the States than go to one of these casinos. The drinks are much cheaper and the comps are much better as well. Why spend your money in Canada at the ridiculously high prices they charge at the racetrack?

Nongovernment run & owned is the only way real competition will be brought into these casinos. If several locations are competing for your dollars, the deals will get much better. This is what happens in Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica, and many other locations. The government casinos are just fleecing us. They do not pay well and they charge high prices for everything compared to American casinos.

The city of Ottawa is Addicted

The City is addicted to profits. They need to have the casino operating full-time bringing in the money they have been receiving for the past years. There will always be a city-shared casino in the city. If they can find a way to politically bring another one into the city, they will as long as they can get their money. It is another form of tax in my mind. I would rather contribute to free enterprise rather than some swollen overpaid government employees.

Ottawa residents will continue to be fleeced. For more posts about casinos and things to do in Ottawa, click here.

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Facial Recognition Software at Casinos

May 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Ottawa No Comments »

Facial Recognition Software at CasinosRideau Carleton Raceway has introduced new software into their technology to help deal with problem gamblers. In addition, those people voluntarily want to be banned from the casino. Rideau Carleton Raceway’s slot machines are now equipped with facial recognition software at casinos they operate. As a result, this is part of a bid to help addicts bar themselves from gaming facilities. Although this is portrayed with a positive spin.  I guess it is for those who want to be banned from the casino. What about the rest of us who are on camera? Also, Hardrock casino group purchased this casino. Subsequently, there should be many improvements at this venue.

Facial Recognition Software at Casinos – Rideau Carleton

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation installed the technology at the complex. They have also installed the same technology at about two-thirds of the slots and casinos across the province of Ontario.

The Rideau Carleton Raceway technology relies on a method of “self-exclusion”. Whereby compulsive gamblers volunteer in advance to have their photos banked in the system’s database. This is in case they ever get the urge to try their luck at a casino again.

If that person returns in the future and the facial-recognition software detects them.

Over 15,000 gamblers signed up

Already, about 15,000 gamblers across Ontario have signed up. They want to restrict themselves from playing at slots or casinos, according to the OLG. Roughly 100 had signed up at Rideau Carleton Raceway to restrict their gambling before the introduction of the new software.

Can this information be misused? What about divorce situations? What about situations involving the misappropriation of funds?  As a result, the temptation by the government to use it is just too great.

We have to remember that it is the government that runs OLG. They already have a bad rap of not representing their customers very well with recent scandals of ticket-selling crooks pocketing millions by taking winning tickets from unsuspecting customers.

Can we trust them? Well, it turns out that we really do not have any choice. If you visit one of the casinos you are on their property. You are on camera. In fact, most if not all casinos have sophisticated video systems geared to catch cheaters at tables and also the slots. As a result, this should be no surprise to clients of the casinos.

Your comments about this controversial subject are welcome. Have you had yourself banned from the casino?

For more posts about casinos in Ontario, click here.

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Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino

December 21st, 2011 ernie Posted in Ottawa 2 Comments »

The Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino is located in Ottawa on Albion road. This is a combination race track, casino and sometimes exhibition and show venue.  The original post can be found by Clicking Here. We thought we would provide an update to this original post that we made about this particular casino. There have been some changes we wanted to make people aware of.

The Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino is still the same configuration, restaurant and bar area. However they have added three electronic tables for patrons to use. There is a blackjack electronic table, a Baccarat, Roulette and Sic-Bo! The black jack table has the usual video dealer that is a very shapely dealer for you to be amused by while you are gambling and possibly be distracted by.

Multi-line Slots

They have moved many of the slot machines around to accommodate these tables. The process has installed many new slot machines of various themes and denominations. There are many more 1 cents and 2 cent machines with multiple lines where you bet a maximum of $2 and $4 on a penny machine. These have become very popular all over North America and the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino is following suit with these machines. Many of the popular traditional machines have had to make way for all of these new slots.

Very Busy

If anything this casino is becoming more and more popular. No matter what time you go there, there are always people there and it seems that even at 1 am in the morning it is crowded with people. If you want your favorite machine, you are going to have to wait until it is vacated before you can use it or you arrive at 9 am in the morning. Even then sometimes you have to wait until someone is finished.


Comp’s are still bad compared to other casinos, so no change there. Payouts are ridiculous. If you win more than $200 on one press of the button, someone has to come and pay you instead of just printing a ticket. Not sure of the reason, but the slot attendants still have their hands out looking for tips. Service is slow so most don’t bother tipping anymore. Why tip for bad service.

Slot Attendant Service

In fact we recently won a nice little jackpot which we wanted to have a check instead of cash. First I was able to get the attention of the attendants. It only took about 10 minutes to have a check printed. However, I had to wait at least 30 minutes before I could even get someone to come and process the win. I think they know that a check will be required and there will be no tip, so why stop and process the jackpot. Pretty bad service in my opinion.

Anyway it is still a great place to spend an evening, provided that you limit your losses and control your gambling. Have a drink , maybe something to eat and play a little bit for an enjoyable evening!

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Rideau Carleton Raceway

January 30th, 2010 ernie Posted in Ottawa 2 Comments »

There are two casinos located in the Ottawa, Canada region. The one that we will review in this post is called the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino. This is the only Rideau Carleton RacewayOttawa casino in the area. The other casino is located across the river in Quebec and is called the Lac Leamy Casino. We will review this casino in another post. As a result there is not much competition, the casinos are small and demand is large. They are run by the Ontario and Quebec governments. As a result there is little competition and little incentive to be competitive. Hence the Lac Leamy casino is by far the superior casino offering more dining, gaming, entertainment and lodging value.

Patrons can enjoy themselves at the Carleton Raceway Casino, playing many of their favorite machines. However if you have been to any of the large US casinos, this certainly does not compare. We have seen people win large jackpots at the Carleton Raceway Casino with pictures taken etc.

Rideau Carleton Raceway- Entertainment

The entertainment is available Friday and Saturday nights and is aimed at the older crowd. Rock, country and easy listening music would best describe the music. Although there really is no dance floor, patrons have been seen dancing to a particular song they enjoyed.

There is a long list of things that we do not like about this casino run by the OLG. Carleton Raceway Casino is nothing more than a prop to keep the racetrack alive and a tax on patrons for the Ontario Government. Hence it is not a competitive casino run by private enterprise. It is typical government with all of the bureaucracy of a government. We have seen slot machines taken out of service for maintenance or upgrading. As a result the entire bank might be out for a week or more. In private industry, this is completed over night!

This is not one of our favorites. However many people do go to the Carleton Raceway Casino every day. It is open 24 hours a day except for Christmas.


There is one restaurant at the Carleton Raceway Casino. It overlooks the racetrack and there is a nice ambiance of racetrack betting and dinner at this restaurant. However in the writer’s opinion, it is not even close to fine dining. Even though there are 100 items in the buffet it lacks presentation, quality and taste. The staff clearly do not take pride in their restaurant and it shows. As a result I know many people, the writer included, who will not even eat there, even if they have been comp’d.

In addition customers may also order basic meals from the menu. This is a racetrack restaurant trying to look like something else and failing.

Sandwich’s, soup, hot dogs, chips and peanuts can be ordered at the bar inside the casino. Prices for beer and mixed drinks are regular price. They are the same that you would find in any restaurant or bar. The Carleton Raceway Casino does not comp any mixed drinks. soft drinks, coffee and water is free. However you should tip for this service.  Chicken wings are also known to be served at the back of the casino on Saturday nights.

They also offer group visits, however we have never utilized this service and cannot comment on it.

What We Liked

  • Variety of slot machines with 1250 slot machines to choose from
  • Free entertainment located in the casino on Friday and Saturday nights
  • Safe environment in the casino, hotel and parking areas

What We Did Not Like

  • There are no table games at the Carleton Raceway Casino
  • Customers must pay for all alcoholic drinks and you can take these drinks to the slot machines
  • Guards standing at single entrance scrutinizing everyone that enters
  • Larger payouts are still paid by slot runners, and they expect a tip for their efforts. We suggest you save your money.
  • There is no associated hotel
  • Located a long way from downtown Ottawa
  • Slots appear to be very tight
  • Crowded on most evenings and holidays

Slot Player Card

The Carleton Raceway Casino is  part of the OLG Winners Circle slot players card system. Hence slot members can take advantage of limited benefits such as cash back and comp’s for food at the buffet. The OLG Winners Circle card can be used in all OLG casinos across Ontario , Canada.

Slot cards at the Carleton Raceway Casino are free and you should definitely obtain one. However they are not nearly as lucrative as other slot cards in the US.


There is ample parking at the Carleton Raceway Casino in a large outdoor parking lot. In addition, valet service is also available should you prefer not to walk from the outdoor parking lot.


The OLG Carleton Raceway Casino is located at 4837 Albion Road. From downtown Ottawa , take bank street south to Albion to get to the casino. Allow a minimum of 20 minutes from down town.

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