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

UVic hosts community gathering following death of two students

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Recent polls show the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding a ‘toss-up’

Recent polls show the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding a ‘toss-up’ If any proof were… Continue reading

Residents say Monday’s fatal crash in Saanich wasn’t unexpected

Speed has long been a concern for neighbours in the Cumberland and Union roads area

Reynolds Secondary principal pens letter to parents after student involved in fatal crash

Various supports available to students, staff and community

Oak Bay United preparing entirely new development application

Three scenarios being considered for Granite Street redesign

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Transition Sooke eyes action on climate change

On Sept. 29, Transition Sooke will host a workshop titled: Climate Emergency: What Can We Do?

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Most Read