Council to hear from Peace River Regional District and public on Chances casino proposal

A letter will also be sent to the RCMP to get more information on added policing costs if Chances changes to a casino.

Greg Walker with the British Columbia Lotteries Corporation was in attendance at Monday’s council session. He says the proposed move to change Chances into a casino is not part of any current trend, but the Fort St. John economy makes it an attractive option to officially make it a casino.

“This is not something that is happening through our network. In fact it is the first one. We’re responding to the market,” he says. “In order to fulfill that mandate we regularly go through assessments of what the local economies are doing, how we are responding to demands and requests of our consumers and we believe there is a need here we need to address.”  

Chances proposes to add seven tables to the current facility.  The proposal includes two poker tables, one 3 card poker table, one roulette table, one Texas Hold Em table and two blackjack tables.

Councillor Dan Davies brought up the issue of staffing if the change were to happen. Walker says that extra staff will need to be brought on but it may be a challenge finding suitable candidates.

“I recognize the challenge of running a business in this part of the province and maintaining staff. We would definitely have to add staff. In the gaming industry you have to go through quite a bit of financial background checking and security checks just to become an employee. There is a lot of regulation around that and it’s quite demanding. There will be more staff but it will definitely be a challenge.”

Last year the gaming centre brought in approximately $960,000 in revenue for Fort St. John. It’s estimated that the City could see an additional $60,000-$75,000 in revenue if a change does take place.

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