Industry Reports

Victoria Could Become the New First Nation Casino Paradise Following Crucial Vote

Victoria is in the center of the spotlight at the moment as the possibility of it becoming the home of a second casino venue is being considered. Councilor Marianne Alto proposed an amendment which could repave the way towards a second casino venue, this time overseen by a local First Nation. Previous concerns in relation to the money-laundering situation in British Columbia have prompted the opt-out in December 2018.

In a recent statement Coun. Alto advised members of the City Council to reconsider their previous decision to stay away from more casino operation in the area. It could be recalled that the last days of 2018 saw Mayor Helps announce her position regarding a previously considered second casino venue. She stated back then that the province is shaken by the money-laundering allegations and this is not what the city needs at the moment. She recommended that previously expressed support is withdrawn.

Potential First Nation Casino Venue Might Be Beneficial

Exactly a month later, Coun. Alto advocates for reconsideration when it comes to a potential casino venue. She stated that Frist Nations casino might be of good use for the local economy as well as for the Indigenous tribe that makes the move. This mutually beneficial arrangement is a possibility which should not be brushed away even though last month the Mayor advised that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation should be notified about Victoria’s decision to stay away from casino bids.

Now Coun. Alto wants to introduce an improvement to the community, as from her perspective a second casino venue will have a positive impact on the local employment market, as well as the economy. If there is a First Nations casino bid presented in the foreseeable future, this would guarantee a significant boost. Casino operation comes with the added benefit of annual allocations to the city coffers generated by the gaming revenue.

I should be taken into account that the focus here is on First Nations and their right to operate casino venues and develop their gaming operation. If an Indigenous tribe wants to make a move and provide for its community, Victoria could offer a prosperous opportunity. Across the provinces, First Nations had expressed their discontent with the fact that they are marginalized via gaming permits in rural regions.

The Area Has Gaming Potential

The motion introduced aims to solidify Victoria’s position of a supporter of tribal gaming while taking into account all anti-money-laundering policies and good practices. For the time being there are no particular bids, but nevertheless, the opportunity should not be completely scrapped. Chief Sam with the Songhees Nation has expressed his opinion that Victoria should remain open to new opportunities.

It should be taken into account that November 2018 brought the good news that British Columbia’s gambling revenue is going to be shared with the Indigenous communities in the province. For more than two decades tribes have been fighting for a larger share of the gambling pie and this year is going to be a special one in this sense. This is expected to cause greater interest in Indigenous casino operation across the province.

At the moment there is one casino venue in operation in Victoria. Elements Casino located in View Royal is enjoying quite the attention and constant player flow, further boosted by the renovations which took place last summer. The location overseen by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation launched operation in 2001, but over the span of about six months, the venue saw a complete revamp and rebranding that freshened it up. The venue has some 770 slot devices in operation, in addition to 26 gaming tables available on site.