Posted on 07 April 2006 by admin
Public to vote on allowing slot machines at local racetrack
Slots … or not?rnAt its April 3 meeting, Osoyoos Town Council set June 17 as the date for the plebiscite on whether to allow expanded gambling at the Desert Park race track.
The public will vote on the question: Are you in favour of electronic gaming devices, entertainment and horse racing at Desert Park?
Rocky Mountain Turf Club (RMTC), of Lethbridge, Alta., was chosen as the successful bid in a request for proposals to operate Desert Park, issued by the town last fall.
In his proposal, RMTC head Max Gibb proposed installing up to 100 video lottery terminals.
Gibb said this racino component would provide the capital necessary to upgrade the facility, re-establish the park's equestrian activities, and make improvements to the sports fields and buildings. Gibb believes the revitalized Desert Park would be a tourist destination with great economic spinoffs for the town.
While plebiscite voting day will be June 17, advance voting will be on June 7.
Council appointed Cliff Gay as chief election officer and Jim Zakall as deputy chief election officer. Total cost of the referendum has been budgeted at $7,000.
Councillor Allan Carswell said at Monday's Council meeting the referendum is the next step in the procedure to bring Gibb's proposal to light and see horse racing return to Desert Park next year.
Mayor John Slater added the referendum is only part of a public process which will include open houses, a storefront in town and printed material to inform citizens about the scope of the project, so they are able to make an informed decision by the June 17 voting date.