Times Colonist

Lottery Corp. bets on revenue hike


VANCOUVER — Increased casino and community gaming centre gambling throughout British Columbia will fuel a $363-million increase in B.C. Lottery Corp. revenues over the next three years, BCLC says in its latest service plan.

Total revenues from casinos, gaming centres, lotteries and bingo halls are projected to rise from about $2.5 billion in 2007-08 to $2.863 billion by the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Profits are forecast to jump by $175 million, from $1.035 billion to $1.21 billion.

Vice-president Kevin Gass said lottery income will remain flat, rising from about $240 million this year to $260 million by 2010-11.

Revenue from community gaming centres (upgraded bingo halls with slot machines, off-track betting, food and beverage and entertainm­ent) is forecast to increase from about $116 million this year to $284 million by 2010-11.

Revenue from traditiona­l bingo halls is expected to decline from $114 million to just $6 million during the same period.

Expansion projects are planned for existing casino facilities in View Royal, Nanaimo and Richmond.

BCLC says public support for legalized gambling in B.C. rose from 51 per cent to 62 per cent in the past two years. It wants to push that support to 64 per cent by 2010-11.

Gass said lottery growth opportunit­ies exist in B.C. pubs and bars.

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