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.