Each year, local governments that host a gaming facility receive a 10% share of the net income those facilities generate. Last year, five Host Local Governments in the Thompson Okanagan received $10.9 million to invest in community projects, including park improvements in Kamloops, policing in Kelowna and the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.
The following stories provide just a snapshot of the hundreds of ways that host communities in the Thompson Okanagan play it forward and benefit from gaming revenues.
Music in the Park: A Longstanding Tradition
For more than 26 years, BCLC has been a proud sponsor of Music in the Park, Canada’s longest-running free music festival. Providing residents and tourists alike with exceptional performances from talented local, national and international artists.
BCLC’s 7th Annual Midsummer Music Jam held on Wednesday, July 24 features award-winning Canadian country band The Washboard Union.
Kamloops Rivers Trail
Hiking is one of the most popular activities amongst British Columbians. The Kamloops River Trail is a diverse urban trail that runs along the Thompson and North Thompson River valleys. In 2013, the City of Kamloops used more than $43,000 from its share of provincial gaming revenue – generated by Cascades Casino Kamloops and Chances Kamloops – to improve signage and add floral displays along the trail.
Safety is a top priority in Kelowna, where the City has invested its entire share of provincial gaming revenue, generated at Lake City Casino Kelowna and Chances Kelowna, to policing services. In turn, the police run a number of community programs, including Amber Alert, AdWatch, Restorative Justice and Victim Services. Concentrating on building positive relationships in the community, the Kelowna RCMP also has a program in place that acknowledges those who help deter crime and rewards them with “positive tickets.”
South Okanagan Events Centre
Thanks to gaming, Penticton has been enjoying its very own premier sports and entertainment centre. Providing home ice for the Penticton Vees, a BCHL Junior A Hockey team, and a stage for a number of international acts each year, the complex received $30 million from the City of Penticton’s share of provincial gaming revenue. Generated at the local casino, the funds have helped to create a hub of entertainment and an influx of jobs to the area.
BCLC 2010 Winter Games Dome
With B.C.’s Lower Mainland being the main hub for the 2010 Olympic excitement, BCLC sponsored a travelling, multi-sensory experience to bring the excitement and spirit of the Olympic Winter Games to people all over the province, regardless of location.
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
CMHA is dedicated to achieving their vision of having “healthy people in a healthy society” through a number of initiatives supported through Community Gaming Grants. Programs like the “Connected by 25” in the Interior offer important life skills to at-risk youth transitioning out of government programs to ensure their safety and well-being as they become independent adults
Local Road Improvements
Well-maintained roads are paramount to a safe and efficient community. Nearly $700,000 of the City of Kamloops’ share of provincial gaming revenue was recently dedicated to street upgrades. Through repairs and construction, the City used funds generated by players at Cascades Casino Kamloops and Chances Kamloops to improve the local roadways for motorists and provided an influx of work for local engineers and trades.
Kamloops Public Art Installation
The City of Kamloops uses a portion of its share of provincial gaming revenue to pay for inspiring public art installations. The iconic Oblix bronze bull statue, symbolizing the City’s ranching history, was brought to Riverside Park thanks to players at Cascades Casino Kamloops and Chances Kamloops.
Kamloops Neighborhoods Playgrounds
Nothing is as important as the health and well-being of a community’s youth, and the City of Kamloops is making sure its youngest generation has the opportunity to play safely and develop valuable social skills by investing in local playgrounds. More than $95,000 of the city’s share of provincial gaming revenues, generated from Cascades Casino Kamloops and Chances Kamloops, was put towards renovating and installing family-friendly playgrounds throughout the area.
Penticton Sports Fields
Gaming revenue in Penticton is helping to keep parks and sports fields safe and fun. The City of Penticton used $693,000 of its share of provincial gaming revenue to upgrade Penticton’s sports fields and parkland. The City maintains 11 parks that offer a range of features and amenities for residents to get outdoors, and 11 sports fields that provide a place for adults and children to play soccer, baseball, slo-pitch and rugby.
South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls (SORCO)
Since 1987, SORCO has been rehabilitating and releasing injured birds of prey in the Okanagan area. Aside from the rescue and medical care for the animals, funding through the Province of B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants program also allows the organization to continue its public education on the importance of raptors to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Women’s World Ice Hockey Championship
As a long-time supporter of sports in British Columbia, BCLC was proud to help bring Canada’s game to Kamloops and sponsor the 2016 IHHF Women’s World Ice Hockey Championship. The tournament put the City of Kamloops on the world stage, attracting visitors and avid hockey fans from near and far. The BCLC team was keen to get involved with 10 employees volunteering their time throughout the event and many more showing their support by cheering on Team Canada.