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B.C. Capital Lays Bet on Casino

23 May 2003

VICTORIA – As reported by the Victoria Times-Colonist: "Victoria city council's wish list includes more downtown street outreach workers, an art gallery and perhaps a conference centre expansion -- if only it had the money.

"Councillors took a step Thursday toward possibly having more discretionary funding for such projects, though some feel they may be selling their souls. Council, sitting as committee of the whole, approved casino rezoning guidelines that provide a roadmap on related issues ranging from design and building standards to social principals.

"`I believe a casino in the city of Victoria would assist us in dealing with many of the needs that we have here,' Mayor Alan Lowe said.

"Victoria has no location zoned for a casino with slot machines and its only site for a casino without slots is at Finlayson and Douglas. Great Canadian Casinos shut down its operation there as part of a move to View Royal and the site is being turned into a credit union.

"However, for now, it is all moot as the provincial government, which regulates gambling in B.C., has indicated it has no plans to grant another casino licence for Greater Victoria.

"…Lowe estimates a casino with 300 slot machines would generate up to $4 million in tax revenue.

"…The guidelines map out council's desired location for a casino with a corridor that is primarily bordered by Douglas and Blanshard streets in the downtown.

"…Council, meanwhile, also approved an addition to its casino policies with a ban on video lottery terminals…"

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