The dice have yet to roll in favour of reopening View Royal’s casino, the only gambling establishment in Greater Victoria.
Mayor David Screech said the municipality has easily lost $500,000 in revenue since Elements Casino first closed in March. According to Screech, the venue brings in an estimated $450,000 each quarter.
“I’m a big believer in staying calm and working through it,” said Screech. “It’s not an ideal situation, but I don’t think it’s given us any undue pressure. We’re going to be able to get through this. With this pandemic, public safety is paramount.”
The biggest area where View Royal will feel the pinch he says is investing in capital projects, such as upgrades to playground, sidewalks and roadway intersections. In order to balance the budget, they will have to scale back to help fund West Shore Parks and Recreation at around $800,000.
Notably, View Royal may also consider delaying the purchase of a new firetruck to replace an older one.
Though the town might be playing a losing game, Elements isn’t discouraged. The casino has already started implementing Plexiglas separation to prepare for when the business can reopen. Staff are experimenting with turning off every second or third machine.
“I’m confident we’ll be able to weather the storm,” said Screech. “Our town’s finances are strong right now and our council has a real desire to be very cautious with spending on capital projects. We want to keep the public safe and our finances safe too. Whatever happens, Dr. Bonnie Henry has a final say.”