Today the Town of Osoyoos council will address a request for support for a license to operate a casino on Hwy 3. (File)

Osoyoos Indian Band seeks support for casino

The 6000 to 7500 square foot casino would be located on Osoyoos Indian Band land.

The Town of Osoyoos will today discuss the possibility of bringing a casino to the area.

The Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) is requesting support from the mayor and council to operate a 6000 to 7500 square foot community gaming centre, or casino, on OIB land.

The proposal would put the casino on Hwy 3, across the street from the Petro Canada gas station.

It would include 100-150 slot machines, 100 bingo machines, a 50 square foot off-track betting area and a 1500 square foot 50-60 seat pub/bistro. It would also be designed to reflect the cultural history of the OIB, and the unique environmental history of the North point of the Sonora Desert.

Osoyoos chief administrative officer Allan Chabot explains in his report that on Feb. 7 he and Mayor Sue McKortoff met with OIB Chief Clarence Louie and Nation First Investment Group managing partner Mike Campol about the project.

Chabot further explains that in decades past the availability of casino-style gambling opportunities in Canada has rapidly expanded. In 2018-19 alone, 18 community gaming centres, 15 casinos, three bingo halls and two racetrack casinos opened in 32 communities across B.C.

He adds that the centre would result in local employment in both the construction and service industry, and also result in increased hotel/motel and food service revenue.

Opportunities for increased visitation and tourism traffic are also raised in the report.

With regards to potential implications, Chabot explains that an assessment of the potential socio-economic impacts of a community gaming centre being located in Osoyoos is, “beyond the scope of this report.”

This afternoon council will address the request for support for a license to operate the casino.

The full report can be read online here. The council agenda can be found here.

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