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The Face of Gaming Entertainment: Brandon Gagne

Happy 20th anniversary Chances Casino!

The milestone birthday has prompted Chances to gaze back with nostalgia, celebrate the present and look forward to a bright future.

A lot has changed at Chances since it first opened at 1585 Springfield Rd. in 2002.

"Well, when we first opened it was actually called Bingo Kelowna," says marketing manager Brandon Gagne with a laugh.

"And even before that, owner Stan Walt had the Bingo Palace at Blue Heights Plaza for over a decade."

The name changed to Chances Gaming Centre when the slots floor opened in 2005.

Slots are still the star of the show with close to 400 slot machines on the gaming floor.

Along the way, electronic table games such as Blackjack and Roulette were added.

And then, the biggest and most exciting addition in 2021 with live tables for Blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold-em, Fast-Action Poker, Baccarat and Roulette.

"2021 was amazing because with the live table games we were able to put 'casino' in our name and officially become Chances Casino under BC Lottery Corp. (BCLC) regulations," says Brandon.

As both a gaming centre and ultimately a casino, Chances always did things differently from other gaming operations that focus on machines and making money.

"We are certainly not just about electronic games and making a profit," says Brandon.

"Frontline staff engage with customers and are ultimately the reason patrons choose to play at Chances. They are the centre of our family atmosphere."

The vast majority of the management team at Chances worked their way up from frontline positions.

"There's no one better to support those frontline workers than people who have done the jobs themselves," points out Brandon.

In fact, Brandon himself started as a gaming attendant in 2014 and worked his way up to guest services supervisor, then marketing coordinator and now marketing manager.

"If you told me back then that I would go on to be the marketing manager, I would have laughed at you," he says.

"I started at Chances because I was new to Kelowna and needed a job. Never did I imagine the career I have or the support I would receive in achieving this success. I think that says a lot about the kind of business Chances is."

Chances is also community-and-sports minded and donates to many organizations, including the SPCA, Seniors Outreach Centre, Okanagan Food Bank, Parks Alive, Festivals Kelowna, Kelowna Rockets, Kelowna Falcons and West Kelowna Warriors.

Of course, there's the undeniable casino sounds of jingling lots, whirling games and excited chatter amongst staff and customers.

Overall, the atmosphere is one of fun and inclusivity.

You can get your favourite beer, wine, cocktail or highball from Chances Bar and roam the gaming floor.

You can sit down for a drink, snack or meal at Longshots Lounge for chef-prepared appies, share plates, burgers, pasta, seafood, steak and more.

Need to get primed for all this fun?

Check out the 'Chances Are' series of 'How to Play' videos at ChancesKelowna.ca



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