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

Victoria Women’s March draws hundreds

Pink pussy hats aplenty as demonstrators took to downtown streets

Oak Bay Council agenda at a glance

Regional Transportation Service, major reserve funds, and Oak Bay Heritage on tonight’s agenda

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

School fence damaged by soaring sailboat

One boat owner advised, Transport Canada responsible for second boat

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Former Victoria junior Hicketts making his NHL debut tonight

Second-year pro, Kamloops native, called up from Grands Rapids of the AHL

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Most Read