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Casino Nanaimo sold to area's Snuneymuxw First Nation

Great Canadian Entertainment sells casino to Petroglyph Development Group Ltd.
Casino Nanaimo has been sold to Snuneymuxw First Nation's Petroglyph Development Group.

Great Canadian Entertainment has announced it is selling its "landmark Vancouver Island property," Casino Nanaimo, to Snuneymuxw First Nation's economic development corporation.

According to a press release issued by Great Canadian Entertainment on Monday, June 24, the company's board of directors unanimously approved the transaction, which remains subject to customary closing conditions as well as customary approvals by the regulatory authorities. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will provide transition services to Petroglyph Development Group Ltd. for up to two years after the deal is closed. Petroglyph is a wholly owned corporation of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

"We are very pleased to have executed this agreement. As the operator of Casino Nanaimo since its inception in 1986, we believe that under Petroglyph's steady management, this transaction will provide Casino Nanaimo, its guests and team members with an exciting new chapter," said Matt Anfinson, Great Canadian Entertainment chief executive officer, in the press release.

Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse said in the press release that the First Nation celebrates its partnership with Great Canadian and entry into B.C.'s casino industry.

"We are committed to bringing Snuneymuxw's local expertise to an established tradition of outstanding guest service and meaningful community contributions," said Wyse. "Honouring the decades of work by past Snuneymuxw chiefs and councils, we look forward to closing the definitive agreement and realizing our collective vision with the Great Canadian team. This collaboration promises to bring significant benefits and substantial economic growth to our nation and the local community."

The acquisition also returns the land associated with the property to the First Nation.

“In addition to our pending acquisition of the business, we are honoured to announce the return of the associated land once closing is completed, a part of the Snuneymuxw xwsol'lexwel village," said Erralyn Joseph, president of Petroglyph Development Group, in the release.

Ian Simpson, chief executive officer of Petroglyph, said the acquisition will unlock unprecedented economic potential and pave the way for transformative growth in Snuneymuxw's economy.

About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

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