The B.C. Lottery Corporation has reached out to Saanich council in hopes of entering into discussions about the District potentially hosting the South Island’s second casino. (Black Press Media file photo)

The B.C. Lottery Corporation has reached out to Saanich council in hopes of entering into discussions about the District potentially hosting the South Island’s second casino. (Black Press Media file photo)

New south Island casino could be in the cards for Saanich

Council to meet with B.C. Lottery Association about hosting new gaming facility

The B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has reached out to Saanich to discuss bringing a casino to the municipality.

On March 11, Saanich received a letter from the BCLC explaining that, in accordance with interest expressed in 2016, the lottery corporation hopes to discuss the potential of bringing a “gaming and entertainment facility” to the District.

The facility would provide space for more than just gambling, said Mayor Fred Haynes. He envisions a casino, hotel, restaurant and performance space all in one.

READ ALSO: Saanich ready to roll the dice on casino

The former Saanich council expressed interest in having Saanich be considered as a potential site for a new casino back in 2015, Haynes said. In early 2019, the current council unanimously voted to update the 2016 expression of interest.

In 2016, the BCLC short-listed Saanich and Victoria for a new south Island casino. A year later, the BCLC announced Victoria was the preferred municipality to host the region’s second gaming facility. At the time, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps called this “good news,” but later announced Victoria was no longer interested in having a casino. Helps cited concerns about drugs and money laundering.

READ ALSO: Victoria no longer interested in hosting a downtown casino

Haynes, however, is feeling positive about the concept of bringing a gaming and entertainment facility to the municipality because he’s seen the benefits the Elements Casino has brought to the West Shore. He said casinos create jobs, bring tax relief for residents and create a community gathering place.

Haynes added that opportunities for economic expansion cannot be ignored, especially not during the COVID-19 outbreak. He expects revenue from a casino would range from $2.5 to 3 million and, according to the BCLC website, local governments that host casinos receive 10 per cent of the income generated at the gaming centre.

READ ALSO: Saanich wins 2020 Small Business BC award at Vancouver gala

Despite it being too early for Haynes to speculate about a specific location for a potential casino, he expects that proximity to the Elements Casino would be taken into consideration. This means it would be unlikely that the new gaming facility would be built near Uptown Shopping Centre, he said, despite a 2016 report indicating the mall would be the ideal location. Haynes pointed out that the casino would need to be located further east.

The BCLC plans to attend a council meeting to discuss the specifics of a casino in Saanich and to answer questions council may have. Haynes said there is currently no specific timeline due to the COVID-19 situation.

–With files from Wolfgang Depner


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichgambling

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

Just Posted

Eli, left, Brent, Lindsay and Ava Wilson. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Wilson)
West Shore families share experience in raising a child with autism

Two families reveal some parallels, but circumstances are different for everyone

Kit Thornton, chief aquarist at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, plays with Wanda, the female Giant Pacific octopus currently residing at the centre. The centre will release Wanda back into the wild next month. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
An octopus named Wanda will soon say goodbye to Sidney

Wanda’s personality is ‘complete opposite’ of previous octopus named after Dr. Bonnie Henry

Hamels Fabrics & Quilting is set to open on April 6 in Sooke. The shop is located at 2044 Otter Point Road. (Mark Martins/Pixabay)
Fabric and quilting store opens doors in Sooke

Shop is filled with all kinds of ‘bright, bold and cheery’ designs

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Photo courtesy Dan Wood)
PHOTOS: Saanich firefighters free trapped workers at Uptown Walmart

Incident reported as explosion after driver rammed through wall

Tiny packets of carrots ready to be distributed in Victoria. (Submitted/Victoria Seed Share)
Free Victoria seed sharing collective bags work experience funding

Fully volunteer run Victoria Seed Share will get a boost from provincial grant

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Most Read