Treasure Cove raked in $50.9 million

Games of chance at Treasure Cove Casino were attractive enough to bring in $50.9 million worth of revenue during the 2019-20, according to a B.C. Lottery Corp. report released this week.

The total amounted to a $101,000 increase over 2018-19 and came in spite of a fiscal year shortened about two weeks by the COVID-19 pandemic. The casino has remained closed since March 16.

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Of the total, $45.6 million came from the slot machines, up $127,000, while bingo contributed $3.17 million, down $74,000, and table games accounted for $2.16 million, up $48,000.

The totals were good enough to generate $14.2 million in operator commissions, off by $7,000 from 2018-19.

Among B.C.'s 17 casinos, Treasure Cove was the ninth most lucrative. At $287.2 million, River Rock Casino in Richmond was the top generator, followed by Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby at $231.3 million.

Among bingo halls, Treasure Cove remained at the top. Cascades Casino Langley finished a distance second at $2.1 million.

With all casinos and bingo halls shuttered for six months now, the numbers will be considerably lower for 2020-21 and that's if they are reopened at all.

Earlier this month, labour union Unifor, which represents workers at four B.C. casinos, called on provincial government to safely reopen casinos and gaming operations across the country.

"There's just no sound science that justifies re-opening Walmarts, gyms, and restaurants while at the same time keeping the casinos closed," Unifor president Jerry Dias said. "There's no logic behind the decision, and it's placing a perfectly legal sector in jeopardy."

In a statement, a Ministry of Health spokesperson said B.C. Lottery Corp. has submitted safety plans and they have been review but a firm date for reopening casinos has not been set at this time.

"The priority for government has always been a gradual reopening of the economy and right now the focus continues to be on keeping schools safe as students returned to class last week," the spokesperson said.

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