Chances Chilliwack with BCLC is pursuing a proposal to add table games to the options. (Chilliwack Progress File)

Chances Chilliwack looking to add table games into the mix

It would be a significant change so an approval process is underway to consider it

A proposal to add table games at Chances Chilliwack is in the early stages of an approval process under the Gaming Control Act.

The proposal by Chances operator Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is considered a “substantial change” to the facility at 8180 Young Rd., triggering the need for a specific approval process that requires city officials to provide an opportunity for community input as well.

“Chances Chilliwack, in partnership with and led by the B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC), is currently pursuing approval from the City of Chilliwack for the introduction of table games in order to meet market demand, as our guests have shared that they would enjoy table games as part of their overall entertainment experience,” said Shawn Duncan, regional general manager for Great Canadian Gaming.

Council passed a motion at the Tuesday council meeting directing staff to consult with Fraser Valley Regional District and local First Nations on the proposal.

BCLC spokesperson Matt Lee said the formal request for table games was based on a “market review” that determined the introduction of these games “would best meet Chilliwack and Fraser Valley player expectations.”

“Should the City (of Chilliwack) approve of the introduction of table games at Chances, BCLC would reconfigure the gaming floor there to accommodate six table games initially, including Blackjack, 4-Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em,” Lee said in an emailed statement to The Progress.

BCLC is considering whether it would offer progressive table-game jackpots.

City of Chilliwack, as host local government, receives 10 percent of the net revenue, and in 2017/18, this amounted to $2.04 million.

Asked which facilities offer table games, the BCLC official stated that Chances Fort St. John features nine table games, and they can also be found in casinos across B.C.

“While at this time BCLC is not formally seeking the introduction of table games to other community gaming centres, we continue to assess the gambling mix at all facilities to ensure they meet the expectations of our players within each unique market.”

City of Chilliwack, as the “host” local government, is required to consult with potentially affected local governments within five kilometres about the idea of adding live table games like blackjack or poker to the gaming options at the local community gaming centre.

Following local government consultation, city staff will bring a report to council for consideration, and to set a date and time for a public information meeting.

Responses to local government consultation, as well as any community input received, will be forwarded to BCLC and the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch for their approval of the proposed substantial change.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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