It seems that the northern Manitoba town of The Pas will be losing another major contributor to employment. Making it the third large employment venue leaving the area in a row over the course of just a few weeks, the Aseneskak Casino has announced that they will most likely be shutting down operations in the town and would be relocating over to Winnipeg. This announcement came out Friday and was released by the owner of the venue.
The Aseneskak Casino originated back in 2002 and has kept the employment of about 147 workers in The Pas. A spokesperson from the casino released that the owners of the casino are looking to relocate the casino to an area that will hold a larger market within the province, particularly looking at Assiniboia. Suzanne Barbeau-Bracegirdle stated that the casino isn’t currently in a viable state in the area that it sits, and will need to be shut down within a two-year time frame.
Casino owners believe that the market is too slim for the casino in this location. They own about 600 slot games that they can use on their gaming floor, but currently only have 172 slots in operation. This is far from the full capabilities of the casino, and the only way that they can improve is to change to a more high-traffic location. It comes down to the economic benefits to moving the casino to another location that might provide an increased amount of revenue.
Before any sort of relocation will occur the province has to first sign off an approval, which needs to be made in writing, as reported by Heather Stefanson who works for the Manitoba Liquor and Gaming Authority. With this in mind, it is possible that the province may not approve of the move and the casino would have to remain in its present location. Stefanson submitted an email statement on the issue in which she spoke about the Gaming Agreement between Manitoba as well as the Manitoba Liquor and Gaming Authority, in which the location of casinos has to go through negotiations with the First Nations.
If a move is approved it will mean that a lot of the employees will be out of a job as a result. Having almost 150 employees, this would definitely have an impact on the community and on the lives of many who rely on the casino to provide for their families. The casino has released an open invitation to allow for any employees to hold on to their job if they are willing to relocate with the casino, but of course, that would involve uprooting their family out of The Pas to go to the new location that the casino gets approved to move to.
The Pas’s mayor Jim Scott is hoping that the casino will take back their decision to relocate and allow for the jobs the casino has provided to remain in the area. He believes that there is plenty of opportunity and that the tourism industry of the area isn’t being put to full use. On the other hand, Barbeau-Bracegirdle hasn’t held an optimistic view and doesn’t believe that there is a whole lot of hope for the casino to remain in the small town.