Cascades Casino Delta official grand opening draws crowds; Canadian online casino industry proving lucrative

After a two-year delay due to COVID-19 and supply-chain issues, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited’s $99.3 million investment, up from $70 million, recently celebrated the grand opening of its Cascades Casino Delta in British Colombia, Canada.

Located in Delta, part of Metro Vancouver, the highly anticipated opening on September 29th, 2022, reportedly drew long lines of people from around the region who couldn’t wait to explore the approximately 160,000-square-foot entertainment space. Just how much business the casino took in in its first week is anyone’s guess, however, as the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) doesn’t make those reported results from its BC casinos available to the public until the end of the fiscal year. The 2021/2022 fiscal year ended on March 31, 2022.

If you’re wondering what that might look like, according to the Local Government Share of Provincial Casino and Community Gaming Centre (CGC) Revenue (pdf) the top earners in BC cities from April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022, in descending order were:

Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby @ $8.7 millionRiver Rock Casino in Richmond @ $8.3 millionCascades Casino Langley in Langley @ $6 millionHard Rock Casino in Coquitlam @ $5.4 millionStarlight Casino in New Westminster @ $4.8 millionParq Casino in Vancouver @ $4.4 millionView Royal Casino in View Royal @ $3.4 million

Whether or not the final number is comparable, the City of Delta is to receive a 10 percent share of the net gaming revenue generated by the new entertainment venue, according to PlayCanada, citing BCLC spokesperson Maria Szabo. The city’s cut is estimated to amount to $2 million annually, said Szabo.

Cascades Casino Delta

Built on the former site of Delta Town & Country Inn, Cascades Casino Delta approximately 40,000 sq ft of gaming opened with 500 slots, 18 live gaming tables and stadium-style electronic gaming, as well as a full-scale conference center, and signature restaurant brands, MATCH Eatery & Public House, The Buffet, ufa365 and Summit Bar.

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The adjoining five-story -up to 124-room- Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Delta is expected to open soon (taking reservations from Jan 29th, 2023) and will include a day spa and wellness center, resort-style outdoor pool and hot tub, state-of-the-art fitness center and dedicated parking for electric vehicles.

British Columbia Lottery Corporation

Chosen by BCLC as the preferred host community for a potential gambling facility in Metro Vancouver’s South of the Fraser region back in November 2016, the entity gave final approval for the City of Delta on November 13, 2018, with Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited to be the operator.

In addition to conducting and managing all commercial gaming in British Columbia, the Canadian Crown corporation is responsible for gambling products and services offered by its lottery division, its casino division, which includes 34 casinos and community gaming centers across the province, and its Internet gambling services offered through its PlayNow.com platform.

eGaming in Canada

The eCasino offers lottery, sports betting, bingo, keno, online slots and online casino games like Blackjack, Poker, Craps and Roulette, as well as Live Casino options, including Baccarat, Baccarat eSqueeze, Blackjack, Roulette and Auto-Roulette, made possible by the passage of Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, in June 2021.

Prior to the passage, betting on single sporting events in Canada was prohibited by the Criminal Code via section 207 (4) (b), although efforts to repeal the provision had been ongoing for the better part of a decade.

Lucrative Industry

According to the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), 2020 saw an estimated C$15 billion waged by Canadians, with only 3 percent, or C$450 million, of that bet legally, while the lion’s share went to illegal bookmaking operations and to offshore online sports wagering sites.

At the time, an analysis (pdf) by Deloitte Canada, a professional services firms that provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services, suggested that within five years from legalization, sports betting in Canada could grow from $500 million to nearly C$28 billion in legal-market wagering, an estimate that was echoed by Canadian online casino experts across the country.

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According to BCLC Annual Service Plan Report (pdf), PlayNow.com eGaming operations 2020/2021 net income was $252 million alone.