A new casino or gaming facility is on the mind of the B.C. Lottery Corporation, with eyes on Saanich or Victoria to house the new venue. Several areas were being considered during the selection process, with the Esquimalt First Nation and the Songhees First Nation among groups who wanted to be considered. Now that the first phase of the selection process is complete, the BCLC has begun to focus on the two areas of Victoria and Saanich.
Richard Atwell is the Mayor of Saanich who is pleased with the fact that his municipality is still being considered for the gaming venue. According to Atwell, the council of Saanich had expressed an interest in a casino coming to the area. Lisa Helps is the Mayor of Victoria who is also pleased to find that her area is still in the running. For Victoria, the next step will be to discuss on how to proceed in council. Helps stated that the project is of high interest in the community and if the council debates the issue publicly then the public will have the opportunity to become involved.
Angela Koulyras is a spokeswoman for the BCLC who stated that Saanich and Victoria are currently being asked for information in regards to a new venue. This would be preferred locations for the casino as well as what amenities they might want to include. The BCLC wants to know timelines in regards to the approval of a development proposal if the area is chosen as the host community.
Saanich and Victoria officials have until the 23rd of June to submit the information to the BCLC. The group is hoping to be able to choose a community for a gaming project by the summer months. The BCLC will also be meeting with communities that did not make it through the first phase of the selection process to discuss the outcome.
The BCLC has stated that the potential revenues for a new facility would be around $30 to $45 million a year. The host community would be given 10% of the net revenues which should be around $1.8 to $2.5 million a year.