Vancouver, Not Vegas coalition forms to fight B.C. Place casino

A new coalition has formed to oppose the expansion of gambling in Vancouver.

It’s called Vancouver, Not Vegas.

The coalition includes the False Creek Residents Association, Strathcona Residents’ Association, Grandview Woodland Area Council, B.C. Association for Charitable Gambling, and the Alliance for Arts and Culture.

The group’s name refers to the casino resort city Las Vegas, where Paragon Development Ltd. is based.

Paragon is the gambling company chosen by the province to operate a new casino planned at B.C. Place.

Paragon bought the Edgewater Casino, located at the Plaza of Nations, in 2006.

The firm intends to move the casino from its current site after its lease expires in 2013 to a 680,000-square-foot entertainment complex next to B.C. Place.

From 45 gambling tables and 493 slot machines at the Edgewater Casino, the Las Vegas company would install 150 tables and 1,500 slots at the new casino.

In informational material, the coalition states that the new casino will be “1.6 times the size of River Rock Casino in Richmond--and the equivalent of 3 new Edgewater casinos right in the heart of downtown Vancouver, where our families will take their children to watch the BC Lions and Whitecaps play”.

“We oppose the expansion of Edgewater Casino, and invite all Vancouverites to join us in calling on City Council to halt this process until the public are properly informed and consulted in a meaningful way,” the group declares.

Vancouver, Not Vegas will hold an information meeting on Wednesday (February 9) at the Chinese Cultural Centre (50 East Pender Street). The event starts at 7 p.m.

Coalition members also plan to address council on February 17. That’s the day council will hold a public hearing on the application by provincial Crown corporation PavCo to rezone the B.C. Place Stadium area to allow gambling.



Ken Lawson

Feb 7, 2011 at 2:21pm

oh god these people have been up this creek before and never win, the casino will be going ahead like it or not!

Sean Bickerton

Feb 7, 2011 at 2:37pm

Please join us Wednesday night for special addresses by Business In Vancouver Editor Peter Ladner, media maven Sandy Garossino and renowned architect Bing Thom. It promises to be a big event, so tell your friends, and join us Wednesday for Vancouver Not Vegas!

Chinese Cultural Centre at 50 East Pender Street, (just 3 blocks from Stadium Skytrain Station)

Paul B

Feb 7, 2011 at 3:08pm

Sean, do oppose the expansion of gambling downtown or in the City of Vancouver?

James Johnstone

Feb 7, 2011 at 3:30pm

This is a totally winnable fight. As soon as people get beyond the smoke and mirrors of the Casino Company and those who support it, the clear and irrefutable reasons for opposing this deal at this location come to the fore. The multifaceted negative impact of the expanded Casino complex far outweighs any perceived benefits to the people of this city and its neighbourhoods. It's a Vegas Casino, not the Borg for heaven's sake.

By giving into this plan we change the nature of the heart of this city forever. It's Vancouver, not Vegas, and resistance is not futile!

Let the People Decide!

Feb 7, 2011 at 4:04pm

I was wondering why we haven't been hearing about this situation. About time somone shows the venailty behind this project and how it may harm the interests of the "common" people of Vancouver.

Fiona Philips

Feb 7, 2011 at 4:14pm

Vancouver is running the danger of becoming a soulless and tacky place in a number of ways. The Canada Line already delivers up direct access to River Rock in Richmond (a truly hideous building) with garish and cheap looking advertising the casino in the stations and plastered all over the trains. I'm totally dreading Edgewater. It's the very last thing that struggling Yaletown needs. I wish the 'Vancouver, Not Vegas' people the best of luck in their fight.

Diane Toop

Feb 7, 2011 at 4:22pm

As a former resident of one of the world's most beautiful and one who visits often, I would be very disappointed if this casino is built. A blot on the landscape of a City whose reputation is already suffering because of the Downtown Eastside issues. Why on earth would Vancouver City Council allow this to happen? Money cannot buy your image.

Ken Lawson

Feb 7, 2011 at 5:11pm

You guys never learn the casino is going ahead whether you have a meeting or not, if council does not approve the provincial government will go ahead on its own,they own the land. The odds of you wing nuts winning is 80 to 1 against

Sean Bickerton

Feb 7, 2011 at 5:22pm

Hi Paul,
I oppose any further expansion of gambling in Vancouver, as does our coalition. We are not trying to close what already exists, simply to stop any further expansion.

Sandy Garossino

Feb 7, 2011 at 6:05pm

The lack of transparency and open process here is deeply disturbing.

Paragon Gaming, which specializes in aboriginal reservation casinos (Edgewater is the only one of their casinos that is NOT on aboriginal reserve land) just lost a casino application in Missouri by a vote of 5-0. The Missouri Gaming Commission preferred a LOCAL company.

If Paragon aren't good enough for Missouri, why are we handing them the keys to Vancouver without any scrutiny? Come out to the public meeting on Wednesday night and learn a lot more about how this process has been misrepresented from the start.

Big hint--there's a LOT MORE to this "rezoning" application than what the public has been told.