Tag Archives: BC Place Stadium

VNV asks CoV’s Development Permit Board to return Edgewater Casino proposal to City Council for further review

Photo via CBC

On December 17, 2013, the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board (DPB) will review a development permit application for a new Edgewater Casino at BC Place.

On October, 17, the BC government’s Kendall Report, conducted by BC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Perry Kendall, demonstrated that gambling addiction is very widespread and that it has doubled over the past five years.

In light of the Kendall report, Vancouver Not Vegas and its supporters make the following requests of the City of Vancouver and its DPB:

_______________________________________________________

Vancouver Not Vegas asks the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board return the Edgewater Casino proposal to City Council for further review.

In October, BC Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall issued a report warning that governments must do more to curb severe gambling addiction in BC.

In 2011 Vancouver City Council unanimously rejected the expansion of gambling licenses for Edgewater Casino, and approved the relocation of the casino to BC Place.

On December 17, the proposed Edgewater Casino goes to the Development Permit Board for approval. If it passes there, construction can commence before Christmas.

No further public hearings will be held.

In light of the Kendall recommendations and Vancouver’s Healthy City Strategy, Vancouver Not Vegas calls for the Edgewater application be returned to City Council for comprehensive public review and implementation of a harm reduction strategy for the casino.

_______________________________________________________

Vancouver DPB

The Kendall Report: gambling addiction in BC has doubled in 5 years

Photo via CBC
Photo via CBC

[Please sign our petition here, after reading! Thank you.]

CBC: “The number of severely-addicted gamblers in British Columbia has more than doubled while the provincial government has taken in billions in gaming revenue, according to a new report from the Provincial Health Officer.

The concerning figures have prompted B.C. medical health officer Dr. Perry Kendall to call for more government investment in gambling prevention and treatment programs.

The report, released Wednesday, analyzed data collected between 2002 and 2007. It showed that even though gambling activities have generally declined, the number of people with a severe gambling problem has risen from 13,000 to 31,000.”

The Kendall Report requires an immediate response from provincial and municipal governments. The report was published over six weeks ago, and yet there has been no reaction from the BC government or the City of Vancouver. Meanwhile, we are heading for a development permit hearing on December 17 for the massive casino building – at its original massive size, ripe for future expansion – in downtown Vancouver adjoining BC Place Stadium. One of the largest demographics for rising gambling addiction is young males. Why has there been no reaction to the Kendall Report?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Vancouver Not Vegas Issues Court Challenge to PavCo & Paragon Casino Plan

Edgewater Casino Relocation Plan - What does it look like? We have no idea.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Vancouver Not Vegas Issues Court Challenge to PavCo and Paragon BC Place Casino Plan

Details of lease agreement unclear for both City and Province

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.

For background on the original petition, click here.

Media contact:
Ian Pitfield at 604-828-5494
ihp@pitfield.com

– 30 -

Is the public, not the casino, in fact paying for BC Place Stadium roof?


Press release today from the NDP. Some good questions were asked. Will Rich Coleman and the BC Liberals answer? Why is so much casino revenue being funneled right back to the private casino owners?

Spencer Chandra Herbert
Official Opposition Critic for Tourism, Culture, and the Arts
MLA, Vancouver West End
www.spencerchandraherbert.ca

B.C. NDP CAUCUS
MEDIA RELEASE
Jan. 9, 2011

B.C. LIBERALS MUST ANSWER ON SUBSIDIES FOR PROPOSED EDGEWATER CASINO EXPANSION – NDP

VANCOUVER — As residents of Vancouver prepare to formally weigh in on the proposed Edgewater casino expansion, the B.C. Liberal government must let the public know whether the casino is going to end up being subsidized by taxpayers even while gaming grants for community groups are being cut, the B.C. New Democrats say.

“The people of B.C. have every right to question whether the top priority for gaming revenue should be subsidizing private casino companies’ car parks and show lounges even while the B.C. Liberals are slashing funds for small charities that help seniors in need, youth engage through the arts, people learn to read, and adults with disabilities connect with their communities,” said New Democrat tourism and arts critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.

“British Columbians were told the proposed Edgewater casino expansion would pay for the $563 million B.C. Place roof project, but we now have to wonder if the public will actually be paying for the casino.The B.C. Liberals must tell the people of B.C. how much government revenue the proposed expanded Edgewater casino is eligible for, and justify why public money should be used to subsidize well-established private companies that are generating hundreds of millions in profits every year.”

Casinos can receive a subsidy amounting to three per cent of their net win in the form of a Facility Development Commission, which can be used for capital projects. An additional one-time subsidy, an Accelerated Facility Development Commission, can amount to an additional two per cent of a casino’s net win. Together, these subsidies have offset around 40 per cent of the capital costs of casino development in B.C. in recent years.

The proposed new Edgewater casino would have double the number of slot machines and table games compared to the current casino, and, if approved by Vancouver council, would be the largest casino in B.C. The expanded Edgewater would pay an expected $6 million a year in lease payments to the province.

While it is not known how much subsidies in FDCs and AFDCs the proposed casino would receive, Chandra Herbert pointed out that since the province estimates the new Edgewater will bring in $130 million per year in revenue, it can be estimated that the expanded casino could receive between $3.5 million and $6.5 million per year in subsidies.

“Casinos were welcomed into B.C. with the understanding that they would generate revenues for non-profits and charities. But under the B.C. Liberals, that social contract has been broken. Gaming grants are actually lower now than they were in the 1990s, even though revenues from gaming have increased dramatically.” said Chandra Herbert.

According to figures supplied to the Vancouver Sun by the B.C. Lottery Commission, casino operators received $40 million in FDCs in 2009-10, up from $16.5 million in 2001-02.

The B.C. New Democrats are advocating for open and transparent governance, including the separation of gaming policy and gaming enforcement in separate ministries, and a full restoration of gaming grants to charities.

-30-

Contact: Sara Goldvine 250-208-3560

Vancouver Observer articles on the Edgewater Casino

The Vancouver Observer has undertaken an excellent series of articles on the proposed Edgewater Casino expansion, irregularities in the process, the problem with a massive casino in a downtown core, and other related issues and questions.

Here are the articles, in chronological order, and the Observer says there are more to come:

2010

August 26, 2010 New Edgewater Casino at BC Place will doubling gambling in the city: does it have to happen?

Sept 15 Vancouver to have one last chance to weigh in on proposal for BC’s largest casino

October 14 Provincial-backed casino requires City approval, but can City say no?

October 14 Community service and arts groups ask City to intervene in gaming development

Nov 4 BC Place casino proposal: lack of independent fairness advisor raises questions

Nov 4 Province made an “exceptionally” fast decision on BC Place casino, says NDP critic Spencer Chandra Herbert

Nov 7 Isn’t it kind of strange that Vancouver would have a super-sized casino downtown? by Emily Barca and Linda Solomon

Dec 1 Casino expansion at B.C. Place may lead to increase in organized crime activity, sources say by Emily Barca

Dec 2 Will B.C. casinos’ bad record on money laundering get worse at B.C. Place casino?

Dec 3 False Creek Residents Association votes against BC Place casino

2011

Feb 7, 2011, 2011 Inside Edgewater Casino by Emily Barca

Feb 9, Paragon of Haste by Ian Reid

Feb 20,  More compelling reasons not to bank on casino revenue

Feb 16, The road to Paragon by Ian Reid

Feb 16,  Province made an “exceptionally” fast decision on BC Place casino, says NDP critic Spencer Chandra Herbert

March 7, A battle long brewing comes to a head tonight at City Hall
and also:
Live blogging the casino public hearing at City Council

March 9,  Menke confirms PavCo partnership began four years ago

March 11, COPE calls on Premier Designate Clark to de-link casino expansion from social services

March 14, Live blogging the casino public hearing at City Council, Day 3

March 16, PavCo’s story gets fishier

April 6, Gambling addict makes mess in casino

April 8, Did Rich Coleman tell the truth about BCLC and Paragon?

April 8, Blunderdome: politics, positioning and a costly retractable roof

April 8, Insular megacasino would add no value to Vancouver’s downtown businesses by Peter Busby and Penny Gurstein

•• April 8, Vancouver Observer, Blunderdome: politics, positioning and a costly retractable roof

April 11, Vancouver Observer, Vancouver, Not Vegas press release: Offering fewer slots is a sign of casino’s desperation

April 12, Vancouver Observer (Ian Reid), Paragon’s place at the BC Liberal table