Town of Rocky exploring whether plebiscite needed to bring back VLTs

The Town of Rocky Mountain House is looking into whether another plebiscite is needed before deciding whether to allow video lottery terminals (VLTs) back into the community.

VLTs were pulled from Rocky Mountain House following a plebiscite in 1997. They were voted down in another plebiscite held in 2009.

Town administration recently learned that Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) states that any bylaw passed prior to 1999 would require administrable approval or another plebiscite in order to bring VLTs back.

However, the Municipal Government Act (MGA) says that if 10 years have passed since the last plebiscite the municipality can decide whether to allow VLTs again.

To get clarity, town council approved a motion to ask AGLC whether a new plebiscite is required.

Some members of town council, including Mayor Tammy Burke, feel the time has come to lift the VLT ban in Rocky.

“People need to understand that our grants come from this very (lottery) fund,” Burke noted.

Councillor Jason Alderson said the ban may have served a purpose 20 years ago, but not anymore.

“In 1997 it actually served a purpose, because it actually prevented people from using VLTs. But today in 2019, it doesn’t because if they choose to use it, they simply go online or they go to another community. So it actually doesn’t prevent a single person from using it,” giving his thoughts on the matter of VLTs in Rocky.

Councillor Dave Auld asked how much a plebiscite would cost taxpayers, with Krause explaining it would be around $6000.