The 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver could put several hundred casino workers on the dole, at least temporarily.
Casino and off-track betting operations at Hastings Park Racetrack will be closed for about a month in the name of Olympic security. Finance Minister Colin Hansen says the Games “will be one of the greatest job generators in British Columbia’s history,” and employees who are displaced can find other work during the Games.
Howard Blank, vice president of Great Canadian Gaming, said his company’s bid to stay open was formally rebuffed last month by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“We’d love to be a part of the Olympics,” Blank said. “But it’s not going to happen.” The company is now trying to negotiate preferential hiring for its staff for Games-related employment opportunities.