BCLC plans for Canada's 'most underdeveloped gambling entertainment market'

BCLC plans for Canada's 'most underdeveloped gambling entertainment market'

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
BCLC CEO Jim Lightbody said he wanted 'another entertainment option for adults and tourists'

Canadian operator BCLC has chosen Greater Victoria for a new gaming facility as it ‘is one of the most underdeveloped gambling entertainment markets’ in the country.

The City of Victoria has been now selected by BCLC as the ‘preferred Host Local Government’ for the proposed gaming facility in the area to complement the existing View Royal Casino. The City of Victoria edged out the District of Saanich in the final selection process.

BCLC has also explained the rationale behind opening a new venue: “We routinely monitor our facilities and review the gambling market in British Columbia in order to best serve our customers. Our analysis in the rapidly growing Greater Victoria marketplace – which looked at population data, existing facilities, estimated revenue potential and other factors – determined that it is one of the most underdeveloped gambling entertainment markets in Canada.”

BCLC has said it will develop a gaming facility to suit the market in the City of Victoria, with the View Royal Casino remaining the primary facility in the region. The decision on the size and scope of the new facility will be based on proposed redevelopment plans for the View Royal Casino.

Jim Lightbody, President and CEO at BCLC, explained: “Our plan to serve the Greater Victoria market with better gaming and entertainment options in the region is moving forward. It has always been our intention to significantly enhance the existing View Royal Casino with exciting new amenities and we are working with our service provider Great Canadian Gaming Corporation to fulfill that.

“In addition, we would like to introduce another entertainment option for adults and tourists in Greater Victoria through a new gaming facility that will provide accessibility and a different experience and that is why we selected the City of Victoria.”

BCLC’s market analysis shows that there are players in the eastern region of Greater Victoria who are not currently visiting the View Royal Casino, and that these players can best be served through a second facility in the region.

It added: “It wouldn’t be in the best interest of BCLC to develop a second facility at the cost of an existing one – especially one as successful as View Royal Casino. We believe that two facilities, each with their own distinct offerings, will thrive in the Greater Victoria market while helping to support B.C. communities. Last year, more than $1 billion generated by BCLC gambling supported health care, education and community groups across B.C.”

Now the host local government has been found, it is down to the stakeholders to make the case for the new venue as when a proposal for a gaming facility is made, the host community has the final say as to whether it will accept it. One advantage for the area is that the new facility should provide CA$1.8-$2.5m annually for The City of Victoria, as local governments that host a gaming facility receive 10 per cent of the net income generated by that facility.

Totally Gaming Says: “BCLC is confident that a second facility won’t impinge on its flagship View Royal Casino, citing the fact that Kamloops has two facilities despite boasting a population about a quarter the size of Greater Victoria. The real challenge now for the operator, and the host government, is convincing the community of the benefits of the new venue.”

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