WATCH: After a decade of talks, the View Royal Casino gets approval to double its size with a 42,000 square foot expansion. Monica Martinez reports.
Plans to redevelop the View Royal Casino have been spinning for a decade, but now the BCLC and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation are showing their cards for a 42,000 square foot expansion.
The upgrade includes non-gaming amenities such as a 600 seat theatre, a restaurant, lounge and bar, an entertainment destination meant to attract locals and tourists.
“In the hospitality business, in the entertainment business you have to keep changing. You have to keep exciting and delighting your guests and so it’s time now for us to do that,” said Jim Lightbody, BCLC President and CEO.
The gaming floor, there’ll also be 12 more dealer tables and 350 more slots machines.
With talks of a downtown casino, Victoria could be doubling its gambling capacity, and public health experts said that’s bad news for a vulnerable segment of the population.
“Slot machines are recognized to be the biggest money makers in gambling in western jurisdictions but they are also recognized to be the most harmful form of gambling. They are the crack cocaine of gambling because they take a disproportionate percent of their money from addicts,” said Dr. Robert Williams, Faculty of Health professor at Lethbridge university.
The casino brought in almost $72-million in their last fiscal year and $4.1-million of that went to seven West Shore municipalities.
View Royal council voted unanimously to approve the development permit Tuesday night, the last hurdle in a decade long plan.
Renovations are set to begin next year and are expected to be completed in 2018.