District of Saanich will not be prepared simply but to roll the cube on a possible on line casino complicated, but it surely seems councillors are prepared to speak in regards to the concept in a extra formal setting.
Saanich councillors will focus on for the very first time the potential for a lodge, on line casino and leisure complicated locally at a particular council assembly on April 26. They might additionally vote on a movement to assist the thought “in precept.”
Ought to that occur, district employees would additionally ship a letter to the British Columbia Lottery Company (BCLC) informing them of council’s will to maneuver ahead on the thought.
BCLC has been in search of to construct a brand new on line casino and leisure complicated within the Capital Regional District for years. Though Saanich had expressed curiosity within the concept again in 2015, Victoria was chosen by BCLC as the popular website for such a venue till that metropolis’s council opted in opposition to participating with the company in 2019.
Then in March 2020, the company despatched the District of Saanich a letter saying it was able to go “all-in” with discussions a few potential website for a on line casino complicated however then the coronavirus pandemic started to take maintain in B.C. and the thought has been on maintain ever since.
Talking to CHEK Information, Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes mentioned Monday’s assembly is an opportunity for council to debate the worth of a on line casino complicated locally.
“This isn’t a choice to have a on line casino. It’s a choice to discover the professionals and cons of what a on line casino might imply for Saanich, each by way of advantages and the cons,” he mentioned.
Particulars in regards to the measurement, scope and placement of a brand new on line casino complicated or what BCLC’s total imaginative and prescient for the undertaking this time round aren’t recognized, no less than not publicly.
Nevertheless, Haynes mentioned as a result of Parts On line casino is situated close by in View Royal, the possible spot for a on line casino in Saanich could be someplace east of Blanshard Road. He additionally mentioned he’s eager on exploring the thought additional because the district must broaden its tax base and contemplate all financial alternatives.
“For a metropolis of our measurement, we have to have a look at all alternatives for income diversification,” he mentioned. “78 per cent of our tax base is on our residents. Different municipalities our measurement have a a lot totally different ratio. So we’re taking a look at financial improvement as a solution to cut back the tax strain on our residents.”
Haynes additionally mentioned he doesn’t imagine the problems that usually include casinos corresponding to dependancy or cash laundering would come up in a smaller group like Saanich.
“Parts On line casino out in View Royal [has] run problem-free for a lot of, a few years, and delivers important advantages to these communities as nicely,” he mentioned, including that extra persons are playing at residence and that gaming in a “curated” and “well-managed” setting is “one of many healthiest types of having fun with” such an expertise.
On the finish of the day, Haynes harassed that Monday’s assembly is all about taking “council’s temperature” on the curiosity in exploring the chance of a on line casino locally.
“It’s about figuring out what the chance is and the method that might be in place to present a good listening to to all sides of this,” he mentioned. “All sides have the chance.”