Top Stories of 2011: Bingo hall sold to Great Canadian

Chilliwack Bingo Association members voted to sell all their assets to Great Canadian Gaming Corporation for a cool $10 million in May.

It was a decision that would change the gaming landscape in Chilliwack forever.

Chilliwack Bingo Association members voted as a group to sell all their assets to Great Canadian Gaming Corporation for a cool $10 million in May.

The reason for the keen corporate interest likely had something to do with the fact that Chilliwack Bingo logged the highest bingo revenues in the province, with an astounding $11.1 million in 2009-10, whereas Vancouver’s Planet Bingo came in second highest.

The acquisition by Great Canadian Gaming, a publicly traded company, included the Chilliwack Bingo Hall on Knight Road, and the five-acre site on Olds Drive where the plan is to build a Community Gaming Centre  in 2012.

The sale also provides for trailing payments to be shared by local charity groups over the next 20 years from gaming centre revenues.

Millions of dollars from local bingo profits have supported a range of local groups over the past 25 years, and the sale of Chilliwack Bingo was viewed by many as a way to ensure sustainability of those charities into the future.

City council approved an expansion of the Chilliwack Bingo operation in 2009 into a community gaming centre, which would feature slot machines for the first time in Chilliwack.

Update: As a publicly traded company, Great Canadian Gaming will be officially declaring the start of construction, probably in a formal announcement in the new year, said Great Canadian vice-president Howard Blank.

“But there are no timelines ready yet,” he said.

At the time of the sale, Great Canadian owned 10 casinos, four racetracks and two community gaming centres in B.C., Ontario, Nova Scotia and Washington state.

Site preparation is now underway at the site on Olds Drive near the Chilliwack Airport.

The new facility will offer bingo, slots, entertainment, restaurant and lounge dining, community meeting space, and more. The old bingo hall will continue to operate until the new one is ready to open.

“We’re anticipating when the Chilliwack facility is completed that we will have some really neat amenities to offer because wherever we build, our roots are in the community.”

Being a good corporate citizen is part of their core culture, Blank said.

“We think the people of Chilliwack will be very pleased with not only what we build, but how we handle ourselves in the community.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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

Just Posted

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Popkum fire chief urges caution after Saturday rescue from Bridal Veil Falls

11-year-old boy was stable, fire chief Walter Roos said, when delivered to a waiting ambulance

City of Chilliwack watching RCMP unionization process carefully

‘We know that this will impact our RCMP contract once an agreement is reached’ – Mayor Ken Popove

Chilliwack RCMP seeing surge in telephone-based tax scam

Victims are phoned by someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding money

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Most Read