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B.C. Casino Profits Jump

10 November 2004

BRITISH COLUMBIA – As reported by the Victoria Times-Colonist: "B.C.'s biggest casino owners are making increasing amounts of money, even though the provincial government says it has been keeping a lid on gambling.

"Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which runs casinos in View Royal, Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland, reported this week that it pulled in $50 million from July to September -- a 74 per cent increase over the same period last year. The company's profits jumped 46 per cent to $6.3 million.

"…Great Canadian's chief rival, Gateway Casinos, which operates five casinos in B.C. and one in Alberta, recorded $26 million in revenue over the same three months and posted an $8 million profit. That was down slightly over the same three months last year, but the company says profits for the first nine months are up more than 10 per cent.

"The companies credit the B.C. government with helping boost profits by allowing bigger casinos with more slot machines, longer hours, higher betting limits, and a wider variety of games.

"The government has also allowed new interactive video-style slot machines that casinos say is more appealing

"…Solicitor General Rich Coleman said Tuesday that B.C. will likely end up with six fewer casinos than the 22 licences that existed when the Liberals took power. But the B.C. Lottery Corporation has the freedom to operate the casinos according to the size of the market without 'artificial limits' on the number of slot machines.

"…Great Canadian has also benefited from a government decision to allow slot machines at bingo halls, which have been re-named 'community gaming centres.'…"

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