The View Royal Casino, near Victoria British Columbia, is in the process of a $20-million expansion plan that will more than double its current size. To kick start the project, part of the casino was first demolished in February. Since then the casino has been able to keep its doors open despite having knocked down part of the casino, which contained a restaurant, lounge, and several dozen slots.
The project is being done by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and will add 42,000 square feet to the existing the View Royal Casino. The redevelopment will include a 600-seat entertainment venue, 350 additional slot machines and electronic games, additional table games, and a number of new dining options.
The first phase of the project is set to be completed by December, according to Chris Lynn, a representative of the Great Canadian Gaming Corp. Phase 1 would include a renovation and expansion of the main gaming floor with high-limit tables. A 150-set buffet and lounger area will be added, plus a 20-seat restaurant. Lynn also expressed that he is “pretty comfortable” with the timetable for the entire project, which has the opening date not later than January 2018.
“Everybody’s excited about the end result,” Flynn said in an interview with Victoria News. The second phase of the project involves a number of non-gaming amenities, including a theater. These changes mirror a number of other expansion projects taking place at casinos across the globe in an attempt to adjust to the destination type casino that can draw tourists. “Our goal is to be the best in live and local entertainment in Victoria and have something for everyone.”
The View Royal Casino first opened its doors in 2001 and has since had a significant financial impact on the surrounding community. In the 2015-16 fiscal year the casino brought in $71.8 million in revenue. $4.1 million of this revenue is distributed to local municipalities, including View Royal. David Screech, Mayor of View Royal, expressed that he is glad to see the project is underway. Screech went on to explain the revenue generated helps pay for park and recreation projects.
When the project first began, customers were concerned that the casino would not be open during construction. The casino has since made sign adjustments to notify its patrons that they are in fact open and, surprisingly, haven’t seen a negative impact on business. Despite the demolition of the north end portion of the casino, Lynn said that they are doing slightly better than last year.
The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation first announced plans to expand the View Royal Casino in 2007 but in the face of global economic recession these plans were put on the back burner. It wasn’t until this past July that the plans surfaced again.