Gaming centre gets band’s OK

The gaming centre is a go.

A March 13 referendum for members of the Adams Lake Indian Band was successful, giving approval to a 49-year prepaid lease for the Berezan Group.

The Berezan Group will be building and operating a gaming centre on the former home of the GM dealership at 10th Street SW and the Trans-Canada Highway.

Adams Lake Band Chief Nelson Leon says the lease is set to go and construction is expected to start next month.

The referendum was necessary to change the initial plan for a 49-year lease paid as an annual rent to a prepaid lease.

“For myself, this is a tremendous boost to the Adams Lake economy, as well as the district of Salmon Arm’s economy,” Leon said, noting that he contacted Mayor Nancy Cooper to keep her up-to-date when the lease was signed.

A spokesperson for the Berezan Group could not be reached, but the Berezan website describes the facility as covering 26,000 square feet and having banquet and conference areas with 100 slot machines and bingo tables. It says the property will also have a VIP lounge and outdoor patio with a live entertainment area.

At an open house in June of last year, Berezan, which will be responsible for all operational requirements of Chances Salmon Arm, stated in its promotional material that it “will create high-quality local jobs, both during construction and operation.” It also said it “will be involved in the wider Salmon Arm community, including hiring local trades and First Nations.”

BC Lottery Corporation representatives, who also attended the open house, stated that the corporation’s marketplace assessment indicated there is demand to support a gaming centre in Salmon Arm.

Fourteen Chances gaming centres are already operating in B.C., including ones in Kamloops and Kelowna. They offer slots, bingo and dining. Leon says the difference between a gaming centre and a casino is that a gaming centre does not offer table games such as blackjack or poker with live dealers.


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