The betting is that Vancouver city council will reject the proposal to put up Western Canada’s biggest casino next to B.C. Place Stadium.
“They’re going to turn it down,” former Non-Partisan Association councillor Peter Ladner told the Straight by phone when asked how he expects council to vote on the controversial project.
The same prediction was made by Bill McCreery, an NPA council candidate.
Council will deliberate on the proposal on April 19.
“When they first started looking at it, when the staff looked it, they were looking at it from a very one-sided point of view, and now a lot of other voices have been brought into the discussion and I think they changed,” Ladner said. “The impact is much clearer, and it’s far less positive than it started out to be.”
The venture involves the transfer of Edgewater Casino from its current Plaza of Nations site to an envisioned 680,000-square-foot development that would include two hotels, restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues.
Edgewater’s operation is proposed to expand to 1,500 slot machines and 150 gambling tables.
However, on April 10, the last day of council’s public hearings, David Podmore, chair of the B.C. Pavilion Corporation, which is the project applicant, declared that the provincial Crown corporation is willing to reduce the expansion to 1,200 machines.
But Ladner argued that this last-minute change isn’t allowed by the relevant legislation. That means that if there is a different proposal, it should undergo a different hearing.
McCreery has previously said that council has the option to defer action on the casino proposal, and even call a referendum.
In a recent phone interview, McCreery noted that based on what he has seen and heard during the public hearings, he’s now inclined to believe that council will vote against the proposal.
“Just the various comments from the various Vision councillors, the kinds of questions they’re asking, and the tone of the questions, the way they’re phrasing them,” McCreery told the Straight.