January 5, 2016 9:03 pm

Penticton promises to share gaming revenue with local Indian Band

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PENTICTON — The City of Penticton has made a milestone move to strengthen its relationship with the Penticton Indian Band (PIB).

The city has approved the relocation of a casino on Monday night. As the host municipality, it will receive a casino revenue from the B.C. Lottery Corporation. Those funds are estimated to start off at $1.6 million.

The city has announced it will share 10 per cent of that revenue with the PIB.

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“This is a giant step in our relationship,” says Chief Jonathan Kruger. “It’s going to wake up a lot of municipalities and first nations across this land.”

In return, the band has agreed to zone a large area of band land for development. This is expected to benefit Penticton because the lacks land for commercial and industrial use.

“If you look at Penticton: north and south we’re landlocked by two lakes, to the east is mountains which are very expensive to develop, and to the west we have the PIB. So it’s very important that we foster relationships and build partnerships that are going to benefit both communities. This partnership speaks to that, so we’re very excited about it,” says Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

The new funds will start coming in in 2017 if the BCLC gives its final stamp of approval for the casino relocation.

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