Kamloops’ Casinos Bounce Back After Closures

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on December 17, 2021
Wooden blocks that read reduce with increasing stacks of coins on top in natural setting at sunrise

According to the British Lottery Corporation (BCLC), Chances Casino and Cascades casinos in Kamloops have bounced back to pre-COVID levels.

“They are kicking on all cylinders,” said BCLC’s director of public affairs, Greg Walker. 

“I was up at Cascades the other day, and the thing that strikes me is that it’s not just that they are doing financially well, but the staff as well, there’s a real upbeat mood.”

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm on the gaming floor. They are glad to be back at work, and that’s also gratifying to see,” Walker said.

Most land-based casinos that were suspended in March last year reopened this summer. And, as of Oct. 25, casinos have been operating in BC with no capacity limits. 

The only condition is that all visitors must have proof of vaccination to enter gambling facilities. Also, casino staff must make sure people wear masks and maintain physical distance.

Up and running

The report also says highly specialized ventilation systems meet all air-quality standards.

“We opened on July 1. It was very gratifying to see that they were instantly very popular. There were lineups at the facility, but I can tell you that they have done, revenue-wise have done really, really well,” Walker said.

“Both the facilities opened at partial capacity, but they are now at full capacity.”

Mayor Ken Christian was thrilled to share the news as well:

“Definitely good news for Kamloops and for the city of Kamloops, particularly for non-profits in the city,” he said. “I think that start-up of Chances and Cascade is good for the employees as well.”

“It is very helpful for us to have two casinos in our community, and [now that they are] back to their full capacity, that will, I think, really help in terms of our gaming fund.”

Boost for the local economy

It was recently publicized that the BCLC headquarters in Kamloops gave $2.2b to the local economy over the past 35 years

Thanks to this facility, Kamloops enjoyed an economic impact of $73m in 2019 and 2020. That’s nearly 1% of Kamloops’ annual gross domestic product.

Like most other casinos communities, the city gets 10% of net gambling revenue from casinos and gambling centers in its jurisdiction. 

“We have never used gaming funds for part of our operations in the city of Kamloops; it’s just philosophically not the way we go,” Christian added.

“We would prefer to use that money to fund special projects, the beautification of the parkade on Lansdowne Street being a good example of that and some of the improvement in our parks and things.”

BCLC also reveals its Community Gaming Grants provide $140m annually to not-for-profits.

Photo by Shutterstock/sulit.photos
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina is a Toronto-based online gambling writer who holds a master's degree in journalism. Before joining PlayCanada, she was part of the AskGamblers crew where she reported about the world of online casinos and interviewed numerous iGaming experts. Being in the industry for 5 years, she became an expert in online slots.

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