Casino News

AGLC Won’t Budge on Camrose Casino Decision

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission remains firm on its decision not to allow the requested relocation of Camrose Resort Casino to Edmonton. Last week, during a hearing decision, a panel confirmed the gambling regulator’s 2022 verdict and explained that the plans to relocate the casino did not have enough support from communities.

Previously, Capital City Casinos issued an official request to AGLC to ask for the relocation of the casino from Camrose to the Ellerslie Industrial area in Edmonton. But even at the start, the regulator said ‘no’ as many people from the Edmonton area opposed the move. This led to the company appealing the decision but to no avail.

Decision Stands

Laura Cunningham-Shpeley, executive director of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues said the uphold of the decision was an example of organizations making a stand. It should be mentioned that Edmonton non-profits oppose the move, as they feared that the relocation would take away some of their charitable gaming revenue as the property would feed rural charities instead of nearby ones.

Jason Pechet, president of Camrose Resort and Casino did not provide a comment on the recent development or lack of. Previously, the company running the casino said that if the property does not move it would then close down. After the initial rejection, the operator appealed that decision and there was an in-person hearing that was held over two days in May 2023.

Mr. Pechet also commented that rural communities and their leaders should be concerned by their mistreatment by the Crown and the failure of the regulator to approve a relocation that would help resolve the disparity. According to AGLC data, charities in Edmonton receive much more from casino events and wait fewer months to host them in comparison to their rural counterparts.

Panel member Patti Grier remarked balance among charities was an issue that must be addressed by way of policy reform and not by relocating gaming properties. During the hearing, Dave Berry, AGLC’s Executive VP of Business Development added that there was a pause on the relocation applications while the regulator reviews the process.

Meanwhile, the President of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta, Paul McLauchlin, expressed disappointment with the decision, which affected many of his members. He hopes that this decision will spark further discussions about reforms to Alberta’s charitable gaming system. McLauchlin believes that the current design of the gaming system is unfair due to significant differences between rural and urban gaming.

Some Communities Support the Plan

It should be mentioned that not every community is against the relocation of the Camrose casino. Previously, County of Barrhead councillors have expressed their backing. The county even drafted a letter to AGLC asking it to review its decision and approve the relocation of the casino to Edmonton, as it would help organizations in the area.

Source: Cummings, Madeleine “AGLC upholds decision to not allow Camrose casino to move to EdmontonCBC, June 27, 2023