About us

Vancouver Not Vegas opposes the proposed expansion of Edgewater Casino and calls for a moratorium on all expansion of gambling in Vancouver.

Who are we?

Vancouver Not Vegas! Coalition is a non-partisan group of individuals and groups:

Sandy Garossino
Lindsay Brown
Bing Thom and Andy Yan of Bing Thom Architects
Ian Pitfield
Diana Lam
Sean Bickerton (as well as Fern Jeffries and Patsy McMillan, co-chairs of the False Creek Residents Ass’n)
James Johnstone (Strathcona Residents Assn)
Tom Durrie (Grandview Woodlands Area Council, Arts Advocacy BC)
Amir Ali Alibhai (Alliance for Arts & Culture)
Susan Marsden (BC Ass’n for Charitable Gaming)

Supporters of the coalition, and communication help:
Judy Rudin
Peter Ladner
Katherine Wellburn
Colleen (Hardwick) Nystedt

Community and advocacy groups:
False Creek Residents’ Association
Strathcona Residents’ Association
Grandview-Woodlands Area Council
BC Association of Charitable Gaming
Alliance for Arts & Culture
Stop BC Arts Cuts
Arts Advocacy BC

…as well as thousands of Vancouver citizens who don’t believe a mega-casino is consistent with their vision of our city.

The Vancouver Not Vegas coalition was founded by Sandy Garossino and Lindsay Brown in late September 2010, in cooperation with the BC Ass’n for Charitable Gaming and the Alliance for Arts & Culture. It soon after began to collaborate with work being done by the False Creek Residents’ Association (Sean Bickerton, Patsy McMillan and Fern Jeffries). The coalition was joined early on by the Strathcona Residents’ Assn followed by the Grandview Woodlands Area Council and was supported by Arts Advocacy BC, and Stop BC Arts Cuts. Over the months that followed many more organizations and individuals came forward to support the coalition, including seniors’ groups, church groups, charities, health organizations, workers and key figures in public policy, law, law enforcement, academia, economics, urban planning, architecture and community work. You can see the full list of these names on our homepage.

To contact us, click on Contact at left.


Some of our reasons for opposing the mega-casino expansion were, and are:

This massive casino would be located directly adjacent to BC Place Stadium, and countless Vancouverites, especially children and youth, would pass by its doors as they travel to and from the stadium. This will normalize and legitimate the idea of gambling;

The proximity of more than 1500 slot machines just walking distance from the residential city centre and the Downtown Eastside is a massive and convenient temptation to Vancouverites, and studies clearly show that addiction rates will rise;

Gambling places an oppressive burden upon the elderly and low-income. This is known as the collection of a “regressive tax”;

Gambling, when expanded far enough,  drains money from other businesses both in the immediate vicinity and beyond;

The inevitable increase in crime, violence, poverty and all the assembled social ills that invariably attend the gambling industry, and the general influx of troublesome social elements;

All  the associated traffic that will constantly flow in and out of the mega-casino complex – 300 cars per hour, and a significant portion of it related to organized crime;

The cost of policing the casino and its outspill, a cost that will fall to the City and not to the Province of BC that owns the property. This will therefore be a cost shouldered by the citizens of Vancouver;

The inevitable architectural poverty and negative aesthetic impact of a structure of that size, a major problem considering the site’s size and central location in our city. Casinos, especially casinos of this size, are fortresses unconducive to neighbourhood vitality.

Thank you for your time and interest and your continued vigilance! This will not be the last time the gambling industry attempts to expand in our town. It will relentlessly put pressure on civic and provincial governments. Keep watching!

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5 responses to “About us

  1. I thought you’d find this article interesting.

    LA TIMES: International study ranks Las Vegas fifth worst economy in world, says recovery prospects dim

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — An international study says Las Vegas has one of the worst economies in the world, and prospects for a rapid recovery appear dim.

    The Brookings Institution and London School of Economics study ranked Las Vegas fifth from the bottom in a ranking of 150 metropolitan areas, citing a limited economy that relies heavily on tourism and construction.

    read more at:

    Source: http://www.latimes.com/business/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-nv-las-vegas-economy,0,4215534.story



  2. Parasite business…what’s your opinion on Wal Marts?????
    Did you support the rezoning to allow the biggest parasite business of all time into neighbourhoods????

  3. I haven’t decided whether I’m for or against the proposed casino. I came to this site hoping to learn this groups reasons for their opposition but was disappointed. You list the general ‘casinos are bad’ arguments without providing any details on why this one specifically is bad.

    From what I can tell, this casino will be no worse than any of the others in BC, and while I’d prefer no casinos in our province, I don’t see this one being a big deal compared to the rest.

    • Graham,
      This would be by far the biggest casino in BC, in fact the biggest in Western Canada. No matter their size, casinos are generally located away from residential areas so that problem gambling does not increase, since studies show that proximity increases the chance of addiction. This casino would not only be of massive proportions but it would be sitting in one of the densest residential areas in the county. Furthermore, it would sit in a highly visible location next to our premier sporting facility visited by children as well as adults. In short, this casino would be an order of magnitude above anything we are currently familiar with in BC.

      We also know that BC has gambling regulation problems. It is the only province in Canada fined by the federal body that oversees gambling crime and mismanagement, FINTRAC, and that the fines for BC’s various infractions amount to more than half a million dollars.

      The increase in gambling being proposed for Vancouver is happening in a non-transparent manner without anything like adequate public consultation. All polls and studies show that the majority of Vancouverites do not want any further gaming expansion in their city.

      This is a an attempt to begin answering your question – I’m sure others may have different responses, and they are most welcome to add them here.

    • chris stephenson


      I am confused by your logic: “From what I can tell, this casino will be no worse than any of the others in BC, and while I’d prefer no casinos in our province, I don’t see this one being a big deal compared to the rest.”

      Why does ‘this casino’ need to be a ‘big deal’ vs the rest?
      If you are opposed to ‘regular’ casinos in general why allow specific exceptions?

      Further, the section above your comments starting with “This massive casino would be located directly adjacent to….” list specific details why this site is opposed. These might address your comment re: “You list the general ‘casinos are bad’ arguments without providing any details on why this one specifically is bad.”

      If the site is lacking info you expected, I’d love to read more about your ideas about what specifics are really important.

      By the way, I’m not a member of Vancouver Not Vegas myself, simply a keen observer like yourself. It would be a shame if your efforts ended with your last comment because then you’re back to sitting on a fence!

      kindly, chris
      604.805.3122 if you’d like to talk about it in person as opposed to clacking a keyboard

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