Casino company shelves plans for expansion - Monday 22nd of December 2008

A $50-million casino expansion for downtown Nanaimo is on hold until at least 2010.

The Great Canadian Casino Company, which operates the Nanaimo casino, has shelved all its expansion plans for many of its 17 B.C. casinos, while the U.S.-based lending squeeze plays itself out on the world economic stage.

"We are pushing most of our projects into 2010 so any work that was going to commence in 2009 has been moved into the next year, given the uncertainty in the bond and debt markets in the United States and in Canada," said Howard Blank, spokesman for the B.C. company that owns the Terminal Avenue casino.

"We havent been hurt like in the United States but we are being prudent so we dont get hurt. We are taking proactive steps now as opposed to taking reactive steps in future."

The delay affects plans to more than double (to 45,000 square feet) the casino adjacent to Port Place Shopping Centre.

While the company has never announced a timetable for its expansion plans, it got a development permit from city council in July after submitting plans for a 23,000-square-foot addition facing Terminal Avenue, underground parking for 200 vehicles, then demolishing its existing 19,000-square-foot casino and replacing it with a 22,000-square-foot building with another 280 parking spaces.

The expansion would see another 225 slot machines added. The slots and gaming tables are a major source of tax revenues for the city, currently generating about $3 million a year.

The company, owned by the B.C. Lottery Corporation, has been upgrading many of its B.C. casinos in hopes of attracting more players and boosting revenues. The casinos expansion plans coincide with plan for a major renovation to the shopping centre.

The company will watch economic indicators for the next few months before deciding its next move.

"We dont know what the outcome is going to be. It could be a six-month delay, it could be a year," said Blank. "But at least were taking proactive steps for our shareholders to ensure we have a solid company for them."

Other news from around the same time

Court Says Yahoo And Google Arent Liable For Gambling Ads - Monday 1st of December 2008

Its been really weird to see various politicians in the US go after online gambling in a variety of ....


UK, Malta dig in heels over EU gaming initiative - Monday 1st of December 2008

Britain and Malta teamed up on Monday in a bid to head off moves by EU president France to forge a b....


Over 1,000 casinos shut in Moscow under new law - Friday 28th of November 2008

More than 1,000 casinos have been closed down in Moscow in the past 18 months under a law passed las....


Casinos Say Moving a Gamble - Thursday 27th of November 2008

A government initiative to relocate the gambling industry to four zones scattered across Russia is l....


Huddersfield’s new casino shuts just weeks after opening - Monday 24th of November 2008

A MULTI-MILLION-pound casino in Huddersfield has closed just eight weeks after its grand opening.Emp....


Casinos bounce back after hurricane stall - Friday 21st of November 2008

Mississippi’s casino revenues rebounded by $9 million in October from a hurricane-plagued September ....


Casino Smoking Ban Comes To An End - Monday 17th of November 2008

After a month of fresh air inside Atlantic Citys 11 casinos, the smoke is back.A temporary smoking b....


Middlesbrough casino plans in motion - Friday 7th of November 2008

THE CARDS have started to be dealt in the process to bring a large casino to Middlesbrough.Operators....


Rank gets 60 million pound VAT back - Monday 10th of November 2008

Bingo and casino group Rank said on Monday it received almost 60 million pounds in a VAT repayment f....


Blackjack fight latest front in Florida gambling - Saturday 8th of November 2008

Visitors to Florida might have a tough time telling whether its an anything-goes playground or the t....