There is good news for the people of Strathcona County. The members of Stagewest Hospitality requested the elected officials to review the ban policies on the casinos this Thursday, July 14, 2021. The Stagewest Hospitality president, Jason Pechet, claimed that Strathcona County has the biggest population ratio in Alberta. Being the biggest demographic base, it does not have any entertainment center or gaming center. Strathcona County is famous for its tourism opportunities and other facilities related to leisure. It is a suitable place for working on tourism-related projects. Likewise, there is an increase in the revenues of Grand Korea Leisure.
Further, Pechet says that Strathcona County has built up various services required for leisure and corporate tourism in County. Voting has been done where the majority was in favor of revisiting the ban on Casino in Strathcona County. 7 out 9 votes favor starting further functioning on this task. Only 2 out of 9 votes are against revisiting the ban on the casino. The voters who are against this policy are Linton Delainey and Dave Anderson. The council has asked the administration to continue further proceedings on this topic. Furthermore, the council decided to prepare a report that will discuss and revoke the Casino Bylaw.
In 2001, the council got a petition from the public of Strathcona County. In that petition, the public forced the council to profit welfare and health, gambling casinos, and property protection. Glen Lawrence explained that the new report would enable us to find out the public response. He showed an impartial decision on that topic since he was neither in support nor against that project. Moreover, the president, Pechet, went to the council on July 13, 2021, with a motive to request the construction of a new resort complex in Strathcona County with an investment of $15 million to $30 million, including a casino in the resort.
Significance of the Project
Pechet expressed his views that this project is wider since it includes a dinner theatre, entertainment lounge, gaming center, spa, leisure services, and halls for conventions or banquets and sports bars. Such projects will make the country strong from a tourism perspective, and they will attract the attention of many entertainment and corporate customers. In addition, this project will give employment opportunities to almost 400 full-time and part-time people. Stagewest Hospitality described that the employees could be reemployed more than 100 jobs. In Limbo, the features of a local hotel require the hiring of 50 full-time beverage and food employees, 100 employees for banquet halls, and more than 150 employees for the gaming center.
Alberta earns 15% revenue from charity, 15% from casino operations, and 70% from Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. Moreover, Stagewest narrates that a casino helps to receive millions of dollars from local non-profits and facilitates more than 180 charities on an individual basis.
Economic Analysis of Stagewest Hospitality
The Mayor, Rod Frank, says that Strathcona County has a rich casino-related history, so it is worth discussing this topic. Frank appreciates the investment of casinos in the County and says that there are some merits and demerits for this project, undoubtedly. He says that we should review the economic analysis of this project. As a response, Pechet revealed that almost 20 years ago, we decided based on available information of council and residents. He described that the gaming centers in Alberta are not socially conscious of what was considered in the past. The people of Strathcona County have become mature, and the population has been increased compared to the past 20 years. Now, the people of Strathcona County want some entertainment centers like casinos and bars.
A Report That Does Not Set Off Council’s Support
Katie Berghofer requests for a report that does not set off the council’s support. She said that it is the need of the hour to evaluate whether people’s minds have changed after 20 years. We should accept the feedback that will come from people. After 20 years, there are many changes in Strathcona County, so there is a need to review the things again. The member who was disagreed with this project, Dave Anderson, said that he earned almost $300 from tips in a fortnight when he used to work in a casino at a young age. He asked about the social impact of a casino on Strathcona County.
Additionally, Anderson said that I do not know a single person who has complained to me regarding the absence of entertainment opportunities at Strathcona County. He further explained that a casino is a business only. The council decided 20 years ago that casinos had no benefits for the people of society. There are various pubs in Strathcona County where slot machines are available. So there is no need to make casinos from my point of view. Finally, I cannot support this project anymore.
Engagement of the Public of Strathcona County
This project will also include the opinions of the public. The public poll will take place soon. Surveys regarding COVID-19 are taking place already. CAO Darrell Reid suggested that the report on this topic will return for a judgment after municipal elections. Hopefully, this report will return to the council at the end of 2021.