Castlegar infrastructure benefits from Chances’ payment

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has released their most recent earnings report for Chances Casino

Chances Gaming Centre.

Chances Gaming Centre.

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has released their most recent earnings report for Chances Casino in Castlegar and although there is room for improvement, management is pleased.

“Chances Castlegar had a good start,” said Troy Bilodeau, director of operations for Berezan Hospitality Group, the company that owns Chances. “Basically they (BCLC) released an eight month operating report and the earnings were $4.9 million in revenue. Revenues were not as high as some comparable facilities but the operation is just a year old and we’re still growing and getting established in the community.”

Bilodeau says they expect bingo revenue to pick up at the casino in the fall.

“We’re really working on that,” he said. “We’re going to begin a new program shortly with a lot lower prices and lot better games offered.”

The casino also has a found money program, whereby any left over vouchers are given to charity.

“They range from a penny up to $20,” said Bilodeau. “That money is given back to the community. Some of the groups that have benefitted from that are the Kootenay Animal Assistance Program (KAAP), Castlegar Rotary Clubs, Rossland LIght Opera players. There’s been thousands of dollars donated.”

Chances recently gave the City of Castlegar around $396,000 for hosting the facility. The payment is part of an agreement between the two parties and amounts to 10 per cent of Chances’ net profit.

“It goes into a gaming centre reserve fund,” said John Malcolm, City of Castlegar chief administrative officer. “Council passed a resolution saying we wouldn’t use that income to support operational issues because if the gaming centre shuts down we’d be in an exposed situation. So it’s put into a reserve. From that reserve it goes for infrastructure payment service like water and sewer pipes etc.”

Malcolm says the casino has been very supportive of the community.

“Things have been going very smoothly,” he said. “We see they’ve been supporting some of the local non-profit groups. They’ve been very good that way.”