Hastings Park Approved for Slot Machines

Hastings Park will be permitted to install 600 slot machines in the wake of a 6-5 vote by the Vancouver City Council July 22. Mayor Larry Campbell, who provided the deciding vote, said it was about saving jobs in the community.

"It means the preservation of jobs, it means the future viability of the racecourse and the Thoroughbred industry in British Columbia," Bruno Wall, a director with track owner Hastings Entertainment, told the Province of Vancouver.

The Hastings Park proposal has room for another 300 slots should the council approve, the newspaper reported. The machines are expected to bring in about $100 million a year, with the track to receive a 25% cut. The city will get $6.5 million, and the British Columbia Lottery Corp. about $70 million.

Earlier this year, Fraser Downs, a Standardbred track in nearby Surrey, won approval for slots. About 200 machines are now operating in a temporary facility, with a permanent casino set to open in the spring of 2005.