The mayor of a Victoria suburb has revealed that he is now feeling “more positive” about a planned move by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) to license a second casino for the area of 344,630 people.

David Screech, mayor for the community of View Royal, which is home to the area’s only existing casino, had earlier called on the BCLC to cancel the process of awarding a proposed second casino licence for the Vancouver Island city while additionally asking the regulator it release a market assessment it carried out into the viability of any such development.

However, Screech has now modified his views after airing his concerns and fears at a special meeting attended by representatives from the BCLC, casino operator Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and other local municipalities.

“I’m not sure if it’s put all fears to rest just yet,” Screech told the Goldstream News Gazette newspaper. “I certainly walked away from it feeling more positive than I have in the last few weeks. I did get the real impression that they want to sort this out in ways that work for everybody. All the people that are going to be involved in the decision-making process were sitting at that table.”

Screech declared that he had yet to take an in-depth look at the BCLC numbers behind the proposed licensing of a second casino for the area and stated that the main point of the gathering had been to keep the lines of communication open ahead of a second meeting in a few weeks.

“I’ll withhold judgement until the next meeting,” said Screech. “We’ll just see where it goes.”

Jim Lightbody, CEO and President for the BCLC, proclaimed that there was now “lots of interest” from municipalities interested in hosting the new British Columbia gaming facility but revealed that “lots of discussion and deliberating” would take place before a final decision on a second licence was made.

“We want to make sure we are in communities that accept us,” said Lightbody. “Ultimately the customer decides our success. That’s what we’re trying to figure out now. We take our responsibility to manage gaming in this province very seriously. We have to look out for the public’s best interests.”

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