Victoria and Saanich move on to next round of casino process

Saanich and Victoria are moving on to the next phase of the B.C. Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) process.

Saanich and Victoria are moving on to the next phase of the B.C. Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) process of finding a community to host a gaming facility in Greater Victoria.

In early October, the BCLC asked six communities (Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, Esquimalt, Esquimalt First Nation and the Songhees First Nation) whether they would be interested in hosting a casino or community gaming facility — in addition to View Royal Casino, Playtime Victoria in Saanich and Bingo Bingo in Esquimalt. Only Oak Bay declined.

An evaluation team scored each of the submissions from the communities, based on criteria related to community support, geographic, economic and demographic considerations. BCLC will now go back to Victoria and Saanich for more information.

“We’re looking to find out from them what are the preferred locations for a gaming facility, the types of amenities, their timeline,” said BCLC spokesperson Angela Koulyras. “At the end of the day, if they are still interested in continuing the process, that’ll help us make our final decision.”

As part of the second phase of the process, BCLC has provided additional information about the proposed size and scope of a gaming facility.

The two types of facilities being looked at is a community gaming centre (a combination of bingo, slot machines, traditional lottery products, restaurant, lounge, tele-theatre and small stage for live entertainment purposes) or a casino (defined as a full service gambling entertainment facility with slot machines and table games).

The size of the gaming floor would range from 15,000 to 30,000 square feet, but the physical space of the entire facility has yet to be determined. BCLC will ultimately decide the type and size of the gaming facility and consider input from the municipal government.

The revenue potential is pegged at $30 million to $45 million. Local governments that host a gaming facility receive a 10 per cent share of the net income, resulting in approximately $1.8 million to $2.5 million annually.