Job-seekers betting on new Penticton casino for employment
Hunter Borba is one of dozens of eager job-seekers rolling the dice in the hopes of netting one of 150 jobs at the new Gateway Cascades Casino in Penticton.
“I think I’m going to look for a server position but who knows really,” he said.
Borba and other job-seekers hope the casino will change their luck in finding employment.
“It’s a little rough but I think this is going to start picking things up,” Borba added.
“I think they need more industry. It’s difficult, for sure,” said another job-seeker.
The casino is relocating from its current home in the Lakeside Resort as the lease will not be renewed.
It’s moving to a brand new 45,000 sq. ft. facility on city-owned land in the South Okanagan Events Centre Complex.
General Manager of the Penticton Cascades Casino, Michael Magnusson, said an array of jobs with competitive wages are being offered.
“We are looking primarily at food and beverage workers because we are introducing two new restaurants to our facility. But we are also looking for gaming workers as well; whether that’s slot attendants, card dealers, security personnel, we are looking at every position to create 150 jobs here in Penticton.”
Casino representatives said it opted to re-locate within Penticton, in part, due to the city’s economic investment zones which offer tax breaks to developers for major projects.
While the city loses out on property taxes, it will likely be offset by the municipal share of increased gaming revenue.
“Creating those incentives in a lot of cases has been the difference-maker from a project starting,” said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.
Jakubeit is betting on further job creation.
“There has been a lot of construction jobs, a lot of construction activity. We are trying to grow other industries as well,” he said.
Borba said it’s challenging to find a well-paying job outside of the construction sector.
“In construction, there is a lot of jobs right now because there is a lot of building going on. But other than that, it’s been a little bit hard looking for a job. But hopefully this will pick everybody’s spirits up in town.”
As far as an opening date, Magnusson is holding the cards close to his chest.
“We plan on opening in spring of this year. Everything is on track with construction so we are very confident we will be open very soon.”
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