Slapped by an overwhelming city hall vote against his plans to build a casino at his Kanata hockey arena, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said he won’t be able to invest any more deeply in the team or in the city.

He’s already been stymied in his effort to turn the newly rechristened Canadian Tire Centre into a hub for major-league soccer as well as hockey. With a 10-1 vote by city council’s finance committee to end his casino dream by telling the provincial government that Ottawa only wants a new casino at the Rideau Carleton Raceway on Albion Road, Melnyk’s been thwarted a second time.

“There is no Plan C,” Melnyk said just before the vote. He flew to Ottawa Tuesday morning and pulled up to City Hall in a black Cadillac Escalade, Senators president Cyril Leeder and right-hand man Ken Villazor at his side, to make his unsuccessful pitch.

The Senators lose money as a hockey operation, Melnyk said (“If you heard a number, it would be staggering,” he said); although his Ottawa entertainment empire makes some money off concerts as well, that’s not the business it used to be. He’s set a $50-million cap on player salaries and can’t afford to spend more, retooling the team into a young, inexpensive one that’ll need some luck to win consistently.

It pleases Melnyk to own a hockey team and he doesn’t intend to sell or move the Senators, but without a “third revenue stream,” his options for expanding the empire and renovating the arena are limited. “It puts a whole damper on my enthusiasm that I came here with 10 years ago,” he said.