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New Kamloops casino officially opens this week

Inside Cascades Casino during the construction phase.

KAMLOOPS – A year after receiving approval from residents and council, the $40-million Cascades Casino will officially open Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is planning a grand opening that will include live entertainment and special guests.

The Aberdeen casino is officially open to the public at 8:30 p.m. but Tanya Gabara of Gateway Casinos says patrons can start lining up as early as 5 p.m.

“The outside parking lot will be alive with activity,” she says adding there will be food and musical entertainment in the parking lot pre-open.

The ribbon will be cut at 5:30 p.m. followed by speeches and a ceremonial welcoming of the first official patron. Gabara says guests include 'players from the community' but the first patron will be a surprise.

The Cascades Casino is replacing the older and considerable smaller Lake City Casino on Victoria Street. The 50,000-square-foot facility includes a gaming floor with 500 slot machines, 18 table games and three poker tables, several eateries and a space for live entertainment.

There were originally mixed reactions to the casino’s new location on Versatile Drive, the site of the former Rona. City staff advised council to deny the proposal based on the official community plan but council decided to hear what the public thought at a public hearing held last August.

Almost 200 residents showed up to the public hearing, held at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre, and the support was overwhelming with only three out of the 29 who spoke voicing opposition to the casino’s move.

Once approved, the company quickly obtained the necessary permits and work began in February with a summer opening in sight. Aside from a complete overhaul of the former construction store, the company was also required to install traffic lights at Copperhead Drive and a roundabout at Hugh Allan Drive and Versatile Drive before the casino could open.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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