Langley City has made more than $53 million from casino
Acting Langley City mayor Ted Schaffer marked Responsible Gambling Awareness Week on Tuesday by reviewing the substantial financial benefits the city has won from the Cascades Casino.
Since the casino and convention centre opened at 20393 Fraser Hwy. in 2005, the City has received $53.6 million under a profit-sharing deal that gives Langley a 10 per cent share of Cascades net profits.
Schaffer said $24 million has been used on capital projects like the 204 Street overpass, Fraser Highway bridge replacement, Al Anderson pool improvements, fire truck purchase and buying property.
As well, $9 million has gone to retire municipal debt, including paying off the loan that funded a new $4.7 million water reservoir in 1999, and more than 100 charities have shared $2.5 million in grants.
Casino money is also contributing $11 million toward construction of a new Timms Community Centre and $3.3 million toward the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor overpasses.
“Cascades is a significant economic generator for our city,” Schaffer said, speaking to a small group of invited guests in a convention centre meeting room at the casino.
“It contributes to increased tourism dollars, employment opportunities, as well as revenue that supports important community initiatives and capital investments that benefit our community and our residents.”
The Township of Langley gets a lesser payout from its share of a smaller gaming operation, the 16,000 sq. ft. Playtime gaming facility at 196 Street and 64 Avenue.
The facility is mostly devoted to bingo, but includes 50 slot machines on its second floor.
Since the Playtime facility opened in 2008, the Township has received $595,000, all of which has gone to the Gateway of Hope homeless facility in the City, that serves both the Township and City.
At the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week rollout, a spokesperson for the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) announced a new $5,000 sponsorship program for nonprofit groups to promote “health, wellness and healthy choices” in their hometowns. The money will go to one community group each in Langley and the other five communities hosting Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, Greater Victoria, Kamloops, Richmond, Prince George and Vernon.
“Encouraging healthy choices ties directly into our approach to promoting responsible gambling in our gambling facilities and in the community,” said Susan Dolinski, BCLC vice-president in charge of communications.
The lottery corporation also scheduled a Thursday afternoon (12 p.m. to 2 p.m.) public seminar on responsible gambling at the Cascades casino and sent a “myth-busting kiosk” to different Langley locations.
The kiosk ran a pachinko-style game that offered small prizes to contestants who answered questions about gambling regulation in B.C.