The number of slot machines in Calgary will skyrocket by 80 percent and push the government’s gambling revenue from the area to almost half a billion dollars a year if three planned casinos are able to get licenses to operate.
With all the new casinos, they will have the largest number of casinos in Canada in Alberta and one of the highest numbers in North America . They are going to become the Las Vegas of the North.
The new details came after a Canada West Foundation study found Albertans are the biggest gamblers in the country.
Alberta gaming figures show there are 1,896 slot machines in Calgary ‘s 5 casinos, as well as 1,447 video lottery terminals in bars within 30-kilometre radius of the city. Three proposed casinos would push the number of slot machine to approximately 3,395 an 80 percent increase.
Electronic gaming machines are considered the most seductive form of gambling, which anyone can play, however, cause the most problems. However, some people defend the casino licensing process adding that the strong community consultation, analysis of economic viability and the benefits to charity.
In the case of the First Nations Casino, 40 percent of slot machine revenue would be directed to assist that particular community. Alberta Gaming figures show that province will get an estimated 1.1 billion in gambling revenue from 5,992 VLT’s and 6,513 slot machines this year.
Based on these figures, the government can expect an annual amount of 90,000 per machine. University of Alberta expert Garry Smith said that it seemed to be “overkill” to have so many casinos in a city of just under a million people. Toronto has no casinos.
However, Elbow River Casino manager Sam Switzer said that it was economically smart to build more casinos in Calgary and he does not believe they would cause any social problems. “They have not issued any licenses for almost five years” he said.
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