Nova Scotia

Parking a gamble for Halifax woman

A stop at the slot machines is helping a Halifax woman with her parking problem.

A stop at the slot machines is helping a Halifax woman with her parking problem.

For the past month, Suzanne Jordan has been gambling at Casino Nova Scotia in downtown Halifax so she can park for free.

Jordan needs to gamble $10 a day to have her parking validated. Sometimes, she even wins some of the money back.

"The way I'm looking at it is I have to spend this money anyway, but with this experiment, I might get a discount," she told CBC News.

Jordan lives off the peninsula, far from a bus route. After starting a job in downtown Halifax, she discovered the cheapest pay-by-day parking was $10.

Then she heard about the casino's deal.

So she parks her car, spends no more than $10 at the slot machines, then walks six minutes to work.

"If I'm gambling $10, I'm not spending any more than I would at a pay-by-day facility, but I have that added benefit — if you could call it that — that every once in a while I might come out ahead," she said.

Jordan keeps track of her wins and losses. Some days she wins back her $10, but on others she loses it all.

She says she has spent about $80 on parking since starting her experiment on Feb. 4.

That's way cheaper than regular monthly parking, Paul MacKinnon, executive director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.

"The local range here can be anywhere between the low $150s, up over $200," he said.

'Not a casino person'

Jordan is having fun with her experiment. She says she's not a real gambler and there's no danger of becoming addicted to the machines.

She's thinking about continuing her experiment for another six months.

"I'm not a casino person at all. I was actually kind of nervous about trying it because I thought, are there risks here where I might get carried away?" she said.

"But I know my personality, and I'm just not that type of person, and I haven't been tempted yet."