B.C. Ferries won't become a floating casino chain, province says

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      Slot-machine enthusiasts may have been looking forward to trying their luck on B.C. Ferries vessels, but the provincial government says that ain't going to happen.

      The B.C. government today (June 8) put the kibosh on a proposed gambling pilot project on a ferry.

      According to a news release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the decision was made because the pilot would have lost money.

      "This decision follows a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure review of a business analysis undertaken by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), with input from BC Ferries," the release states.

      "The ministry agrees with the analysis, which determined that the potential revenues from gaming would not generate a return on investment at this time. Instead, BCLC estimated a loss of approximately $240,000 a year because of added staffing, IT and equipment."

      Back in 2013, the province floated the "gaming" pilot idea at the same time that it announced various ferry service cuts.

      The pilot would have taken place on the busy route between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, with permanent casinos possibly coming to "major routes between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland".

      "If successful, gaming revenue would help reduce the pressure on fares with net revenues reinvested into the ferry system to support general fares," a 2013 release stated.

      Fares for the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route are $16.90 per passenger 12 years or older, and $55.40 per standard vehicle.

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