News about Edgewater casino at BC Place
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Vancouver Not Vegas Issues Court Challenge to PavCo and Paragon BC Place Casino Plan
May 2, 2013, Vancouver: Vancouver Not Vegas announced today that it will proceed with the action it filed in November 2011 in the BC Supreme Court challenging City Council’s approval of relocation of the Edgewater Casino to BC Place.
The decision to proceed with the action results from PavCo’s announcement that it has signed an agreement to lease with Paragon Gaming Corporation allowing construction of a casino on the BC Place site. There has been no public disclosure or public hearing concerning the terms of the Edgewater Casino proposal contrary to the BC Gaming Control Act Regulation.
Sandy Garossino, co-founder of Vancouver Not Vegas, says “this project has all the earmarks of a financial fiasco. Incredibly, the public knows even less about the Edgewater Casino proposal today than it did in 2010. Once again PavCo has announced a done deal to the public, only this time without even the courtesy of telling us what we are committed to.”
PavCo was going to lease the land to Paragon for $6 million per year. In September 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that PavCo expects to reduce the rent to $3 million a year. The current proposal does not reflect the highest and best use of the site. Nor does it provide any indication of any return to the City.
Coalition spokesman, Ian Pitfield, says “no disclosure has ever been made to the public detailing what’s proposed now, nor has any community input been sought as required by the Gaming Act and the Regulation. Nobody knows what’s planned for the site, whether the City will lose money on it, how much public money will go into building it, or whether and how much the taxpayer will subsidize leases on public land.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the action.
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For background on the original petition, click here.
Ian Pitfield at 604-828-5494
It may have appeared that we defeated the mega-casino back in April 2011, but it’s not completely over. Vision Vancouver passed a rezoning in November 2011 allowing PavCo and Paragon to build a 2.6 acre casino for its existing 600+ slots. Why? We’re watching the BC Place and casino situations closely. Over summer and fall 2012 PavCo and BCLC held meetings (the subject of which remains undisclosed despite FOI requests), and in April 2013 the BC government announced a deal with Paragon for a smaller casino at BC Place, while the NDP have floated the idea of selling BC Place. What’s up? Stay tuned.
PLEASE READ OUR REPORT CONTAINING OUR ONGOING OBJECTIONS TO THE CASINO AT BC PLACE.
Our report includes arguments from the perspective of public health and addiction, urban planning, polling & public opinion, financial & economic development considerations, and more. It also contains our long list of endorsers.
Congratulations, Surrey BC!
Surrey’s citizens led by a group called No Casino in South Surrey worked hard to oppose a new resort casino, and on Jan. 18, Surrey City Council voted against a casino 5-4 with Mayor Diane Watts casting the deciding vote against.
The two largest cities in B.C, Vancouver and Surrey, have now said no to new and expanded casinos. Let’s hope this sends a message to other municipalities in BC and beyond. More on the Surrey story here.
Visit the Surrey group’s website, Twitter and Facebook.
Good luck, Toronto!
Toronto citizens are fighting a mega-casino proposed by OLG (equivalent to our BC Lottery Corp) and corruption-ridden MGM Casinos. The final decision will be made at Toronto City Hall in early May 2013.
Visit No Casino Toronto’s website, Twitter and Facebook page.
We won! Thanks to the thousands of Vancouverites who helped us defeat the mega-casino.
The final casino hearing & pavco’s last minute maneuvers
At the close, after all citizens had spoken, PavCo and David Podmore attempted an 11th-hour change of their proposal, asking for 1200 slots rather than 1500. (With option to expand later… to 1500. Within 2 years. Apparently this was a “compromise.”)
this is unacceptable.
Memo to PavCo, Paragon, and BCLC:
This is not a game. A good faith public consultation process lies at the heart of all gambling expansion applications in the province. It dishonours the people of British Columbia when Crown corporations try to game the public in such a cynical way. See our media release here.
Most Vancouverites don’t like gambling or gambling expansion.
A majority of Vancouverites strongly opposed the casino plan, just as they opposed a similar plan (also spearheaded by David Podmore) in 1996. Over two decades, the proportion of Vancouverites who oppose gambling expansion has never really changed. Even when pollsters ask leading questions in polls paid for by casino proponents, those who oppose expansion significantly outnumber those in favour. We defeated a mega-casino in the 90s, we defeated this casino in 2011, and it’s fair to predict that any future casino plans will be defeated too.
To read about the first 3 nights of casino hearings, click here.
Above: a “before” photo, without casino (and before stadium roof was removed). Below: proposed casino location and design.
In the drawing above, the white building at the right indicates the condo hi-rise you see in the photo below (with vertical yellow stripe).
Note: TO REACH THE Citizens’ GROUP FIGHTING THE JUMBO BILLBOARDS that have been installed around BC PLACE by pavco, CLICK HERE. (They’re a separate initiative.)
Above, Jumbotron advertising behind bronze Terry Fox
sculpture at Terry Fox Plaza. Below, video showing Min. Pat Bell claiming that PavCo has dealt with the problem and conferred with the City, neither of which is true.