Shubenacadie band in uproar over VLTs
The Shubenacadie Band is in turmoil over a deal that gives some revenue from video-lottery terminals to a single member.
The band is developing a gambling centre in Wallace Hills, a new reserve in Hammonds Plains, near Halifax.
The 45 VLTs will be leased to Mike Sack, a band member who will front the start-up and operating costs. In return, he will get one-third of the VLT profits.
The rest of the money will go to the band, which is struggling to pay its bills.
Band member Christine Mason doesn't like the plan.
"If the chief gets it and the single person, the people don't get anything," Mason said.
Keith Julian, a band councillor, is also disappointed that the band won't keep all of the profits. He signed a petition circulating on the reserve.
"Wallace Hills is like a gold mine that was sitting there for our community members," he said. "They waited 40 years for opportunity. It's taken four or five months to end in turmoil."
Despite the opposition, Chief Jerry Sack expects the gambling centre to open in November as planned.
Chief Sack — no relation to Mike — said he believes it's a good deal.
"For the revenue that's going to come from Mike's deal, we're hands free. We don't have to pay for anything that goes out," he said.
The development at Wallace Hills also includes a restaurant and office space.