Tag Archives: Spencer Chandra Herbert

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

Jan. 9, 2011


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.


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:


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


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