Saanich narrows potential casino sites

Saanich council likely to forward possible casino or gaming facility sites to B.C. Lottery Corporation.

Saanich council is likely to forward a staff-prepared report on possible casino or gaming facility sites to the B.C. Lottery Corporation.

The “major centres” of Uptown and Tillicum are among those identified in the staff report that council received on Monday. It was the first regular Saanich council session since May 16.

“It’s important that people realize Saanich has not selected a site yet, and we don’t even know if we’re going to get one,” said Coun. Fred Haynes. “There seems to be confusion that Uptown mall and the Tillicum mall have already been selected, and that is not the case.”

Saanich is in a state of flux over where a casino could go and there are other locations that could equally be considered, Haynes added.

“It’s the northern edge of the Tillicum centre that is suggested, and somewhere in the surrounding Uptown neighbourhood,” he said. “And if you look at Royal Oak, it’s becoming more of a corridor than a centre, with the success of the Red Barn [on Vanalman Avenue] and new [Victoria Caledonian Brewery and Distillery] along Glanford Avenue coming in.”

On April 14, the BCLC narrowed its search to Saanich and Victoria as viable locations for a new gaming facility on the South Island, which dates back to its October 2015 request for expressions of interest.

Potential Saanich sites suggested by staff are all based on the official community plan’s major centres, focusing on the centres of Royal Oak, Uptown and Tillicum.

Only the latter has a particular building mentioned, the redevelopment of the Playtime Bingo hall at 3400 Tillicum Ave.

BCLC has particular requirements, and seeks a gaming floor in the range of 15,000 to 30,000 square feet and a minimum of 400 parking stalls. The lottery and gambling oversight organization has set a deadline of June 23 for Saanich’s and Victoria’s response.

BCLC’s April letter said the current casino in View Royal is capturing only $45 million of an estimated annual revenue of $112 million for the South Island.

The new casino or gaming facility will start with between 300 to 400 slot machines, with the ability to add more, and only about eight to 10 table games. The annual revenue potential for a new facility is targeted at $30 to $45 million, with an approximate $1.8 to $2.5 million yield for the municipality.

“There will be much debate and community engagement before we do anything,” Haynes said. “Yes, there are economic pros, but what are the negative impacts of gambling for each area.”



Just Posted

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Edibles sidelined in proposed amendments to Cannabis Act

Health Canada says edible regulation is still more than a year away

Young performers showcase new works in Oak Bay venue

The TD Festival of New Works is March 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the CCPA Performance Hall

Stolen East Sooke puppies returned

Plight of other Sooke Region animals good and bad

North Saanich park doesn’t make the high priority cut

District finalizes its Strategic Plan, a list of municipal priorities

New leader aims to grow Oak Bay Volunteer Services

About 200 volunteers offer about 500 residents with support services

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Mainroad crews cleaning up after winter

Motorists warned to be on the lookout for roadside workers

Lower water pressure, discolouration expected Friday in Gorge-Tillicum area

McKenzie interchange work could affect water for up to a week

The most “Victoria” way to watch baseball?

HarbourCats fans can now watch games from double-decker buses

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Most Read