Communities mull second casino

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said there is interest in the community for a second casino or gaming facility.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said there is interest in the community for a second casino or gaming facility to be built in the municipality.

Earlier this week, the B.C. Lottery Corporation sent a letter to six communities in Greater Victoria asking if they would be interested in hosting a casino and community gaming facility — in addition to the View Royal Casino, Playtime Victoria in Saanich and Bingo Bingo in Esquimalt.

The corporation has identified Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, Esquimalt, Esquimalt First Nation and the Songhees First Nation as markets with potential for a second facility in the region.

Desjardins said it has not been discussed at council yet, but the community has already seen the economic benefits of its current bingo facility.

“We’ve seen the benefits of the money that comes back to the community from having such a facility. There are also jobs that are created as well as amenities that occur from having casino facilities like restaurants, entertainment,” she said, adding the previous council was interested in adding a gaming facility.

“You put it all together and there’s a significant benefit to the community from an economic development standpoint.”

Across the bridge, however, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said not everyone may be in favour of another casino.

“I’ve heard really mixed feelings about it. Just testing with a few people anecdotally, not data driven, it’s not like ‘oh yes, this is definitely something we should do.’ I think there’s a lot of caution around it,” Helps said. “Is this what we need in Victoria? Our whole strategic plan is aimed at creating well-being, prosperity and happiness. Does a casino bring that to a community? I’m not so sure.”

Victoria council has not discussed the issue either, but it has been put on the Oct. 29 agenda.

Helps added if council is potentially in support of the idea, they would not accept a standalone casino and would require it be part of a mixed-use development.

Esquimalt and Victoria councils have until Dec. 11 to submit an expression of interest.

Local governments that host a casino or community gaming centre receive a 10 per cent share of the province’s net gaming income generated by the facilities.

Last year, View Royal received more than $4 million in gaming revenue from the casino. The money was used to fund library services and other community programs.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langford man battling cancer honored with hot rod, motorcycle procession

Friends and family support Patrick O’Hara on his 73rd birthday

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

Victoria traffic stop yields drugs, case full of weapons

Police seize firearms, swords and flares

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read