The Town of Osoyoos threw its support behind a proposal to build a casino on Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) land during a council meeting on Feb. 18.
Council unanimously voted to submit a letter of support to the gaming policy and enforcement branch in support of a license application by the Osoyoos Indian Band to build a community gaming centre.
The Western previously reported that the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) was requesting support from the mayor and council to operate a 6,000 to 7,500-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 1,500-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.
During the meeting, chief administrative officer Allan Chabot highlighted many of the economic benefits of the casino, including the possibility of attracting more tourism and traffic in the shoulder season.
“It seems as though this provides some positive economic benefits, that could potentially more than outweigh any negative socio-economic impacts, ” he said.
Chabot explained that because the centre would be built on band land, the host’s local government share of community gaming centre revenue would be paid to the band and not to the Town of Osoyoos.
“Mr Campol (Managing Partner of Nation First Investment Group) has provided assurance that … they would be giving us some of the gaming revenues that come with this, so that’ll be good,” said mayor Sue McKortoff.
The full report by Osoyoos chief administrative officer Allan Chabot can be read online here.