Casino revenue slipping, Langley City council hears

This year's take from the Cascades Casino will be about $5.5 million, down from a high of about $7 million at one time.

The jackpot of earnings Langley City receives from Cascades Casino is still in the millions of dollars, but it isn’t the windfall it used to be,  and council wants to know why.

The City projected its revenue from the casino for 2014 would be $5.75 million, and it actually will be $5.5 million, down $213,000 from what it expected.

When the casino first opened in Langley City in 2005, it was sharing revenues with the City of around $7 million per year. All casinos must share 10 per cent of the revenues with the host municipality.

According to the City’s director of corporate services Darren Leite, Langley City has received $213,000 less than it budgeted for this year.

The trend appears to be that casino revenues are in decline, whether it be from the saturation of casinos, online gaming or the downturn in the economy.

“The City is really dependent on the casino’s successes,” said Councillor Dave Hall at the last meeting.

He then asked if a casino representative could come to council to explain the decline, and talk about the future.

“Then we could get a sense on revenue trends,” said Hall.

Another reason casino revenues are down is BC Lottery Corporation took more money than usual in the first quarter of 2014, after the Crown corporation did some major restructuring. It meant there was lofty severance to be paid out.

“They had extraordinary higher expenditures that quarter, which meant our share was less,” said Leite.

Casino revenues allowed the City to become debt-free, something very few municipalities can do.

As of February, the City had collected $53.6 million in casino revenues. Most of the funds have been used to pay down debt and improve infrastructure.

Langley Times