BC Ferries won't sport casino lounges after all

Ferry gambling idea jettisoned as money-loser

Business case torpedoes plan for on-board slot machines on B.C. ferries

Casino gambling aboard BC Ferries has been ruled out by the provincial government.

The province wanted to test slot machines on Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay ferries as a potential money maker to boost revenue at BC Ferries but a business analysis found it would instead lose $240,000 a year, because of the staffing, equipment and technology costs.

“Ultimately, the costs, risks and procedural changes required to operate [electronic gaming devices] on a BC Ferries vessel outweigh the financial gains,” the BCLC review says.

Extra costs and time for BCLC and the provincial gaming enforcement branch weren’t considered in initial estimates, it says.

The review also red-flagged various potential security challenges.

“Disputes over game outcomes, thefts, delayed jackpots due to irregularities, children being left unattended if guardians enter the gaming facility during the sailing and other issues” might cause delays for passengers and damage the reputation of BC Ferries and BCLC, it said.

Unlike casinos on land, police couldn’t deal with a problem until the ferry docks.

The Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay run passes through U.S. waters for at least 20 minutes, the review noted.

“There is the potential that a portion of all sales aboard the vessels, including gaming revenue, may need to be shared with Washington State.”

Other issues included lack of a consistent connection to BCLC’s network and the need for ferries staff to adhere to strict BCLC cash-handling procedures and perform many of the responsibilities of casino employees, from solving technical problems to recognizing problem gamblers.

The review said allowing ferry passengers to gamble at slot machines without the food, drink and entertainment options BCLC requires at casinos would be a break from current policy and might be criticized as a move towards video lottery terminals that are otherwise banned in B.C.

The province says planned mid-life upgrades to the Spirit Class ferries will expand the gift shops and relocate the coffee shop to take advantage of available space to raise more revenue.

“While the BC Lottery Corporation’s analysis showed that this idea wouldn’t make money, we’ll remain open to other revenue-generating services,” Transportation Minister Todd Stone said.

Just Posted

Trail and parking upgrades beginning at Seal Bay Park

Park upgrade work is planned at the Comox Valley Regional District’s (CVRD)… Continue reading

Woman assaulted at Bill Moore Park in Courtenay

Female grabbed from behind Thursday morning

Comox presentation on cycling the Silk Road

Do you enjoy fascinating cycling stories? Interested in education in the developing… Continue reading

Cheque presented to YANA after most successful Valley Vonka ever

You Are Not Alone (YANA) staff received a shocking surprise when presented… Continue reading

Comox Valley Airport launches Island Good brand

YQQ focuses on providing local products to airport travellers

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Cyclists can choose round trip from Comox to Nanaimo, or Alberni-Nanaimo-Comox

The Boomer’s Legacy British Columbia Bike Ride is back. In a couple… Continue reading

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

Prepare yourself for tick season, says Island Health official

2017 saw three reported cases of Lyme disease

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read