30 March 2006

Kamloops Supports Larger Casino

Council support for larger casino?

Staff reporter
Mar 26 2006

City council is expected to support the proposed expansion of the Lake City Casino in downtown Kamloops.
Mayor Terry Lake said that if Burnaby-headquartered Gateway Casinos, which operates the four Lake City Casinos in the Thompson-Okanagan, proceeds with the expansion of its Victoria Street facility, Kamloops will be able to add to its inventory of attractions that make the city more of a destination for tourists.
"It's another opportunity," Lake said, noting that from a tourism perspective, the lack of attractions within Kamloops has been perceived as a weakness.
"I see no political difficulties with the expansion," he said, adding that he realizes there is a flip side to gambling as three to five per cent of people who frequent gambling establishments are problem gamblers.
Council, however, has little control over that.
"It's hard to legislate people's behaviour," Lake said.
Gateway Casinos Income Fund reported its final quarter 2005 and year-end results last week.
According to a press release, the fund's consolidated revenue increased 6.5 per cent from the previous year, rising to $103 million in 2005 from $97 million in 2004.
"Our Lake City Casinos also performed very well, with revenue up 7 per cent over 2004," the press release quotes Gateway CEO Dave Gadhia.
Gadhia did not return phone calls, and Lake City Casinos spokeswoman Suzanne Carter could not be reached for comment.

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