- »Chances Chilliwack Casino Wants to Expand with Table Games
Chances Chilliwack Casino Wants to Expand with Table Games
Great Canadian Gaming operates Chances Chilliwack, a relatively small casino opened in 2012 to offer the mostly-agricultural community in Fraser Valley a recreational outlet. The casino has been popular but patrons seem ready for a change. They want casino table games.
Great Canadian Gaming is requesting approval from the City of Chilliwack to offer six table games. The request was submitted in order to meet market demand and stay competitive. The specific games requested were blackjack and poker. And the community at large will have their say in the matter at an upcoming August 20 public meeting.
History of Chances Chilliwack
Chances Chilliwack had its grand opening on November 2-3, 2012. That was after permits and construction were finalised, and finishing touches were eventually completed. The casino is located at the corner of Young Road and Olds Drive in Chilliwack, British Columbia.
Great Canadian Gaming Corporation operates the facility, which took 10 months to build and turn into a 30,000-square-foot entertainment venue. There a plethora of slot machines at the venue, as well as a bingo hall with 280 seats, a bar and restaurant, community room, ample parking, and a 3,000-square-foot amphitheater.
The bingo was a focus because the previous establishment, Chilliwack Bingo, had been a community favourite. However, it needed to feature improvement for bingo fans.
As a part of the much-anticipated grand opening, Canadian band Chilliwack performed. Meanwhile, guests were able to explore and enjoy the facility.
Public Input Required
The Chances Chilliwack property has been wanting to expand its clientele, and offer something new to the area. The casino is willing to reconfigure the gaming floor to make it happen. It will begin with just six tables that will accommodate blackjack, four-card poker, and Texas hold’em poker.
Great Canadian Gaming submitted a proposal to the city several months ago to get the process underway. The first application was for those six table games, while later hoping to increase that number and possibly adding progressive table jackpot games with proper approvals.
The facility will undergo “substantial change” by adding table games. Consequently, special approval is required under the Gaming Control Act. That required Chances Chilliwack and partner/regulator B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC) to obtain approval from the city and then run it by the public.
Per Great Canadian Gaming Regional General Manager Shawn Duncan, the goal of introducing table games is to “meet market demand, as our guests have shared that they would enjoy table games as part of their overall entertainment experience.”
In early June, the Chilliwack City Council passed a motion to move forward with the process.
Since then, the steps of government consultation and a report from the city have been completed. This subsequently led to the establishment of the August 20 public meeting.
Some Opposition Anticipated
The public information meeting will likely bring a variety of supporting and opposing voices to the mix.
It is likely to mimic previous meetings with the Fraser Valley Regional District and First Nations members, as well as the August 6 City Council meeting. There were concerns that added games would attract new customers of a different ilk with unanticipated consequences, possibly more people from outside the community. Therefore, there may be a need for more policing.
On the other hand, Great Canadian Gaming has been able to rely on numbers from its Chances Fort St. John location that offers nine table games. The venue’s revenue has increased, highlighting the benefit of expanded gambling options at Chances Chilliwack.
Revenue and Dispursements
Chances Chilliwack pays the city and Knight Road Legacy Association their dues. The latter was a group of 49 charities that owned the original Chilliwack Bingo establishment. In exchange for its buyout, the organisation receives a check from Great Canadian Gaming each year. The agreement is in place for 20 years.
For 2017, Chances Chilliwack paid the Knight Road Legacy Association a total of $641,444 on April 8, 2019. That marked a significant increase over the $608,691 paid to the association the previous year.
Chances Chilliwack GM Duncan noted: “Supporting an important organisation such as the KRLA allows us to make a significant contribution to the Chilliwack community and all the remarkable charities and nonprofit groups that are a part of it.”
The group of 49 charities includes Royal Canadian Legions, Kiwanis Clubs, sports and education programs, military veteran organisations, hospices and museums, and a large number of other social organisations and community groups.
To date, since the buyout in 2012, the casino has paid more than $2.7 million to the Knight Road Legacy Association.