BC Lottery Corp might build another casino near downtown Victoria
British Columbia Lottery Corporation is mulling a second casino to be built near downtown Victoria—one that’s considerably closer to it than the existing one in View Royal.
The idea has been analyzed by a third-party consultant which specializes in the casino industry. Population, traffic patterns, tourism and player data of the area have all been examined. And what they found is that there is an opportunity for a second casino facility.
But West Shore politicians disagreed.
They are worried the area is not big enough to support two casinos. Even View Royal Mayor, David Screech, expressed hesitation:
“We question whether the amount of revenue that they feel (BCLC) is missing is, in fact, in this marketplace and whether or not by opening a second facility what you’re going to do is create two mediocre facilities.”
He also added that Great Canadian Casinos holds a permit for a $20 million expansion—one that would add a restaurant and a theatre to their facilities—that would help generate income for the whole region.
However, the expansion is on hold until BCLC’s second casino plans isn’t settled.
“If they put another one in, it’s going to kill that (expansion) plan for sure…You’re just going to have two small crappy ones. They should really do one big one, then the tourists and everyone else will go there,” Langford Mayor, Stew Young, said.
Spokesperson for BCLC, Laura Piva-Babcock defended the corporation, saying “It would not be in BCLC’s best interests to consider a second facility if there were no additional market to serve.” (Get to know the corporation in detail at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Columbia_Lottery_Corporation)
BCLC has also tapped six communities—Esquimalt Victoria, Songhees First Nations, Oak Bay, Saanich and Equimalt—if they are willing to host a casino in their smaller than View Royal.
Esquimalt and Victoria mayors are open to the idea and so is the councilor of Saanich, Susan Brice.
However, the mayor of Oak Bay, Nils Jensen and Saanich Councilor Leif Wergeland took a stand against building a casino in their district.