Chances Chilliwack goes for its liquor primary licence

An information meeting is set for Nov. 5 at Chilliwack city hall to allow the public an opportunity to comment

It’s about a year since Chances Chilliwack community gaming centre opened with all due fanfare on Young Road.

Chilliwack Gaming Ltd./Chilliwack Chances reps will be making a case next Tuesday at city hall for why they should be granted a liquor primary licence for Chances Chilliwack.

An information meeting is set for Nov. 5 to allow the public an opportunity to comment on the application.

They tried and failed to get a revision to their existing food primary licence earlier this year.

They wanted a clause that would allow gaming patrons to get up out of their seats and dance with a “public participation” clause.

At the time, some local bar owners and members of council said it would be better if the Chances management went directly into an application for their liquor primary licence, instead of accepting any interim options.

“We said absolutely, and that was always our long-term desire,” said Chuck Keeling, executive director of stakeholder relations for Great Canadian Gaming.

As indicated in earlier press reports, they want to be seen as more than just a gambling venue.

“We also want to underscore the entertainment aspect of what we do. And if people can’t dance to a band that’s playing, it’s a lost opportunity.”

Right now there is no dancing permitted and minors are allowed to come in by a side entrance to the The Well dining room, which is not licensed to serve alcohol.

“Why didn’t we open with this type of licensing? The property on Young Road is not currently designated under the OCP for a facility with liquor primary licensing.

“If we were going to open when we did, we knew it had to be with a food primary licence,” said Keeling.

How will it differ with liquor primary licensing?

“Fundamentally it will mean patrons can dance, rather than security asking people to sit down.”

It will mean no more minors in the dining room, and customers can have a beer or glass of wine while playing slots or bingo. They can also have a drink in the meeting room upstairs.

“Those are the primary advantages for us as we see them.”

How about any foreseen challenges?

“We don’t know.”

In the mean time they appreciating having the full year to demonstrate that they’re a good corporate citizen.

“We’ve been active in the community and supported charitable events.”

They’ve helped out Party in the Park, the Chilliwack Fair and the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Mainly it’s through trailing payments for the 49 charities and non-profit groups of the Knight Road Legacy Association. The funds are dependent on performance levels of the facility.

“They’re our business partners for the next 20 years. They started this business and that’s not something we overlook.”

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