Photo: Dennis Tsang To learn more about the actual relationship between the stadium roof and the mega-casino, read this series of articles in the Vancouver Observer. Paragon, a Vegas casino company, was awarded the contract to build and operate the mega-casino in a very iffy bid process. It was awarded the contract by BC Pavilion Corp—a crown corporation known as PavCo which owns the land next between BC Place and the Cambie bridge. See here. Rumour has it that that Paragon told BC Liberal minister Kevin Krueger last year that without a retractable roof on the stadium, Paragon would refuse to build the mega-casino because supposedly without the draw of a retractable stadium roof, the stadium wouldn’t attract enough clientele to the casino. As for the mega-casino, this is a process that has been occurred very much under the radar of most Vancouverites who are unaware of what’s coming: a new development three times the size of the original Edgewater Casino currently located in an inconspicious spot on the other side of the stadium. City Hall has been strangely silent on the issue of this massive gambling expansion, considering that the BC government application to the city to expand gambling within our city limits will soon be before Council.
Stadium roof scandal?
Some are saying that the retractable roof, one of the most expensive in the world, will cost twice the public estimate, and apparently engineers are not even sure that the underlying structure will support the roof in all conditions. At the very least, the City must get a full independent seismic assessment before granting the rezoning. And that’s not the only thing that City Council should be demanding of the provincial government before it negotiates further with them. Before Vancouver considers the government’s applications to expand gaming in Vancouver and to rezone the new casino site for a mega-development, the City needs to get the provincial government’s assurance that it will actually meet its legal obligations to hand over 1/3 of gaming revenues to BC’s charities and non-profits. (If the BC govt had honoured their 1999 Memorandum of Agreement, a legal document, they would have paid BC’s crucial charities and non-profits $1.3 bn more than they did; that amount is now in arrears). Both the City and Minister Coleman need to start coming clean about these developments.
Posted in Edgewater Casino
Tagged BC Place, City Council, City of Vancouver, Edgewater Casino, Kevin Krueger, mega-casino, Minister Rich Coleman, retractable roof, rezoning, stadium, Vancouver Observer
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
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
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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
Posted in Edgewater Casino
Tagged BC Place Stadium, city limits, Edgewater Casino, Emily Barca, gambling, gaming expansion, Linda Solomon, opposition, Paragon Gaming, PavCo, Sam Sullivan, Spencer Chandra Herbert, Vancouver Observer