Numbers high at Casino N.B.
190,000 visitors in first two months
Casino New Brunswick has attracted more visitors than it predicted it would, according to the manager of the new Moncton facility.
Steve Hancock said the casino expected 135,000 visitors in the first two months but it has drawn 190,000 since opening in May.
"We're definitely above what we budgeted for, which is exciting. It just goes to show that the community is embracing the whole complex," he said.
Hancock said most visitors are from the Moncton area, but that there are also bus tours from further away.
"We're having some from P.E.I., some from Saint John and some from the northern part of New Brunswick so far," he said.
Real Robichaud of the Tourism Industry of New Brunswick said the high numbers indicate more people are staying in the province for their vacation.
"If you look at the number of people that have been going to the Moncton casino this year, well, those people in past years have been going to other parts, Nova Scotia or even Quebec," he said.
"Having a casino in New Brunswick keeps them within the province and keeps the visitation money in the province as well, which is positive for our industry."
Casino Nova Scotia, which runs gambling operations in Halifax and Sydney, has made a direct bid for Moncton residents by sending brochures to area mailboxes.
Robichaud added the casino is already as popular as some of the province's top tourist attractions.
"In the run of a summer, you can certainly have that at the Hopewell Rocks, you can have that at the Acadian Village," he said.
The $90-million Moncton casino features 500 slot machines, 22 table games and eight poker tables in private rooms.
When the casino opened, a casino spokesman said it expects more than 600,000 visitors will come annually to the casino.
Nobody from the province was able to say whether the popularity of the casino had made any difference on the number of gamblers seeking help for addictions.