On Monday, the Penticton City Council held a special meeting which resulted in the city being one step closer to seeing a new casino complex created in the area. The city council voted to support the plan for Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, which would provide a new casino, Cascades Casino Penticton will be located next to the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The new casino site in British Columbia should create as many as 150 new jobs as well as see $25 million invested into the local economy. The Cascades Casino will include a gaming floor, live entertainment areas and several full-service restaurants. A rooftop patio is also included in the plans and will be located in connection with the Match Eatery and the Public House restaurant.

During the meeting, it was the economic development officer of the city who spoke first, Colleen Pennington. Ms. Pennington spoke of the concerns for the project, collected during the information sessions, which included traffic congestion and parking. Ms. Pennington suggested that taking a closer look at traffic recommendations was needed.

Ms. Pennington also stated that the city council has received community input and 90% is positive on the project. She did recommend that the city council send the B.C. Lottery Corporation a letter in support of moving the casino from its current location at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

There were still some members of the public who had concerns on the project that they raised at the meeting. This included an increase in litter as people would be walking to and from the parking, which would be off-site as well as the location of the casino being near an elementary school. Traffic was also concern as children could be at risk for speedy drivers as they travel to the casino.

The council responded to traffic concerns by pointing shuttles as well as off-site parking is being considered. Any problem with parking could be eliminated with tow trucks circulating the area on the busier nights when parkers might not be in the right area, as was a suggestion.

During the meeting, the vote was 6 to 0 for the relocation approval. Council Tarik Sayeed was absent from the meeting. It is expected that the BC Lottery Corporation will take two weeks to decide if the move will be have their final approval.

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