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No opposition to banning VLTs With no opposition, and only one member of the public present to speak in favour, Monday’s public hearing on the bylaw to prohibit for-profit gambling in Whistler was anticlimactic. The bylaw, given third reading by council Monday, is intended specifically to head off the introduction of video lottery terminals, which the provincial lottery corporation is preparing to distribute to bars and lounges across the province. However, it covers all forms of for-profit gambling. The only member of the public present for the hearing, Paul Burrows, told council he thinks the bylaw is an important step in giving the municipality the tools to control gambling. Burrows said he was also speaking on behalf of Walter Zebrowski, who could not attend the meeting. He said Zebrowski agrees any decision on gambling in Whistler should be made locally, but suggested there may be a place for limited gambling, and the profits could be used for specific purposes, such as revitalizing Whistler Creek. Following Burrows’s presentation, Mayor Ted Nebbeling said the Ministry of Public Services has indicated it will not challenge the municipality’s bylaw. A number of other communities in B.C. are looking at adopting a similar bylaw. However, Nebbeling said the province may look at some mechanism to share the profits from gambling with communities, and if it does that Whistler will look at the matter again. The bylaw is intended as a temporary measure, to prevent new for-profit gambling from coming to Whistler until Whistler residents have a chance to vote on the matter in a referendum, likely at the time of the next municipal election, in 1996. "The turnout tonight leads me to believe people support council’s decision on this matter," Nebbeling said.

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