British Columbia

BC Ferries slot machines plan scrapped by government

The B.C. government is scrapping a plan to install slot machines on BC Ferries after analysis showed it would actually result in an annual loss of $240,000.

Business analysis shows onboard gaming would result in an estimated loss of $240K per year

The B.C. government says it will not move forward with a plan to install slot machines on major ferry routes. (Charlie Riedel/The Associated Press)

Slot machines will not be installed on BC Ferries because it is not financially viable and would actually result in a huge loss every year, says the B.C. government.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced in November 2013 the ferry corporation was assessing the viability of gaming on major sailings between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island as a source of additional revenue.

On Monday, however, the province said a business analysis by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation found such a program would actually result in an estimated loss of more than $240,000 per year, due to the need for gaming equipment, IT services, and staffing.

The analysis also found that a portion of the revenues might have to be shared with Washington state because the sailings cut through U.S. waters.

Disputes over winnings

There are also concerns children could be left unsupervised by gaming guardians. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
The report also raised safety concerns, such as children being left unattended and fights over winnings.

"While relatively rare, ...disputes over game outcomes, thefts, delayed jackpots due to irregularities ... and other issues carry the potential to damage the reputation of BC Ferries and BCLC, as well as cause delays in the boarding and disembarking of passengers on the vessel," says the report.

On Monday, the province said it agrees with the BCLC's analysis and therefore will be scrapping the idea.

"While the BC Lottery Corporation's analysis showed that this idea wouldn't make money, we'll remain open to other revenue-generating services," said Stone in a statement.

The government says it will be expanding gift shops and relocating coffee shops to increase revenues as well.

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