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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 has exacerbated the drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Surrey, White Rock officials say isolation, CERB, contributing to crisis

Pubs accused of ‘negligently’ serving alcohol before Surrey traffic crash

The case concerns an Aug. 2, 2015 single-vehicle crash

Surrey mayor says Newton needs more recreation facilities

Surrey council has approved the “Stage 2 Final Report” of the Newton Town Centre Plan

Surrey city staff hears restricting recovery homes to six clients won’t cut it

Corporate report notes there are more recovery homes in Surrey than in every other community in B.C. combined

Gravestones repaired at Surrey Centre Cemetery

Restoration now complete on seven pioneer grave markers vandalized in April

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Missing Fraser Valley man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Victoria man dies after skydiving incident on Vancouver Island

34-year-old had made more than 1,000 jumps

Most Read

l -->