When 2014 ends, it is estimated that City of Richmond will be afloat on cash amounting to $147 million. This money, which started accruing from 2004, is sourced from the 10 per cent taking from net revenues of River Rock Casino and Resort. The cut is provincially mandated and is a lodestone of public cash. In 2014 alone, it is expected that the city will vacuum up a staggering $20 million.
Astoundingly large amounts and utilization
The City of Richmond will be lying atop reserves of $24 million and not-allocated revenue from gaming. This gives rise to the query of what the city intends to do with such a huge amount of money and who is the key person to make the decision to spend it?
The money has been utilized in the past by the city to fund its big and shiny capital projects and also contribute to its reserves. The list of big projects includes two fire halls, future Minoru pool and Richmond Olympic Oval. A seniors’ center was also built. By the end of 2014, the oval will be responsible for about 33 percent of total gaming expenditures. This has happened since 2004, when the River Rock first opened its doors. Richmond has spent about $39.1 million or 26 percent on a number of capital projects. These include Cambie and Steveston fire halls.
The flipside is that the casino is a magnet for crime. In fact, both local and national media has reported about $24 million value of dubious transactions took place at River Rock during the March to June period in 2014. The transactions list included big withdrawals and deposits, most of which consisyed of $20 bills, a standard mode of transaction among organized crime syndicates and drug dealers.
The city council has earmarked about $5 million every year for the subsequent 10 years for the funding of the seniors center complex and new Minoru pool. The list of other yearly expenditures includes $600,000 for more RCMP officers from the $1.4 million kitty collected every year.