The B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC) recently announced that it had selected the city of Victoria to host a new casino and in doing so had overlooked Saanich, which meant that the View Royal Casino in Saanich will continue to be the number one casino in Great Victoria.
The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCCC) operates the View Royal Casino and was happy that the BCLC decided to go with the city of Victoria for its new casino development. The GCCC had committed to investing $20 million to expand and upgrade the facilities at the View Royal Casino back in 2008 but had to cancel those plans due to the global recession. The casino has done well over the last 24 months and the GCCC now plans to go ahead with its expansion proposal.
The BCLC is yet finalize on a site for the new casino in Victoria nor has there been any confirmation on the scope and size of the facility. However the BCLC has confirmed that Saanich will not host the new casino and this confirmation is what the GCCC had been waiting for in order to proceed with its expansion plans.
In a statement, Jim Keeling, vice-president of stakeholder relations and responsible gaming for GCCC said “That’s the type of certainty we hadn’t heard up until last week … That’s why we were waiting for this to play out. We just needed more definition about what’s going on in the marketplace.”
The decision to overlook Saanich also pleased Saanich councillor Leif Wergeland who back in June voted against sending across an expression of interest to host a new casino facility in Saanich. The GCCC is yet to confirm what it plans to do with the $20 million expansion project but has stated that the new makeover will be focused on increasing entertainment and non-gaming facilities at the casino that will look to attract families and gamblers.
David Screech, the View Royal Mayor stated that the BCLC is looking to develop a new casino in a manner that will protect the interests of both markets. The Sooke, Esquimalt, Ktunaxa First Nations and five West Shore jurisdictions benefit from the revenue generated by the View Royal Casino but it is Screech’s municipality that benefits the most from the revenue generated by the casino.
Screech’s municipality is reported to have taken in around $1.84 million in 2015 and the BCLC’s decision to overlook Saanich went down will with Screech. The decision appears to be a win-win situation for all parties as the BCLC is also happy that the View Royal Casino is finally proceeding with its $20 million casino expansion project.