This Monday was a special one for Saanich, as city official had the opportunity to vote on joining the casino race once again. Councilor Susan Brice proposed the move in relation to recent development across British Columbia and City Council members expressed their unanimous approval of the motion that would allow them to review previous plans to welcome a BCLC casino facility.
Casino venue operation has the potential to attract individuals enthusiastic to play, as well as support the community at a later point with regular allocations generated via its operation and gaming revenue amassed. This is what makes casino operation attractive for some towns, whereas others fear problem gambling issues, money-laundering enabling, and more. Saanich has supported casino operation for many years now and 2019 might be the year when it will receive the opportunity to welcome one.
Potential Saanich Casino Could Fund Projects
With the most recent vote on the subject, city councilors said a resounding Yes to renew efforts towards attracting a casino venue to the area. Back in 2016, Saanich City Council saw a report called “British Columbia Lottery Corporation – Gaming Facility Expression of Interest” being issued, revealing more about potential casino operation. This report would be reviewed once again in the upcoming weeks.
This report is expected to give local officials more details about the potential casino operation in Saanich and prepare ground ahead of the possible attraction of a casino operator. British Columbia Lottery Corporation would also have to consider the area a viable option for gambling expansion. It could be recalled that when it had to choose between Victoria and Saanich, it chose the former.
Mayor Fred Haynes is willing to push for a casino venue, as he expressed his position that preparation is key in this endeavor. He is well-acquainted with the entire process of expressing interest in becoming a casino host. Back in October 2015, Saanich voiced its desire to become the Host Local Government of a casino venue, but things did not go as initially planned. The City of Victoria was pinpointed as a more appropriate location for a gaming venue.
Victoria Took a Step Back
If there is a casino in Saanich, the location would have to come with more family-friendly offerings too. The construction of a hotel tower and entertainment venue would be beneficial for the community as well and increase interest in the complex. A restaurant would also be a suitable addition to the facility.
Gaming revenue amassed would fund various community projects. Revisiting the idea comes at a time of rapid twist and turns in the gambling field of British Columbia. Only several weeks ago Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps expressed her concerns with money-laundering allegations and the possibility that a second casino venue could attract dirty money to Victoria.
Following a heated debate that involved potential First Nations gaming operation, City Councilor voted to make no decision when it comes to casino operation once a casino operator expresses interest in expanding its footprint. Meanwhile, View Royal Mayor David Screech expressed his concerns by a possible Saanich casino venue.
He stated that such would have a negative impact on the existing Elements Casino Victoria. Cannibalization of the field is not something that British Columbia needs at the moment, which would prompt more flexibility of all parties involved.