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$450-million 24-hour casino, two hotels confirmed for BC Place

March 26th, 2010 · 25 Comments

Here’s the official news on the mega-entertainment complex planned for beside BC Place. Let the brawling begin.

By the way, I’ve been told by the city that Pavco had already made inquiries about how high the towers could go and have been told that the province, just like everyone else, will have to respect the view cones.

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  • What is the benefit to provincial voters if gambling monies are no longer devoted to education, sports and the arts? And what is the benefit to the local community where this massive density is going to be landed?

    One suggestion would be for Council to make the new development the Province wants contingent on remediating the contaminated soils under 6C first, so that the long-delayed Creekside Park Extension gets built at exactly the same time. Given the fact that the casino development appears to be a fait accomplit, that might be a benefit the entire community could get behind.

    No Creekside Park? No Casino!

    That’s an elegantly simple formula that anyone can understand.

  • Warren

    Lottery and Gambling revenue has always gone to general revenue.

    Additionally, this will generate $6m/yr in lease revenue to Pavco. Which is probably $5.9m more than the parking generates now.

  • Actually the Lottery and legalized Gambling were sold to residents of BC exclusively on the basis that revenues would not be dedicated to general revenue but dedicated instead to a fund for education, sports and the arts.

    And this was always the practice until more recently. In fact, some community groups around the province have received well-founded legal opinions stating exactly this understanding of how gambling was legalized in the province, and are currently considering court challenges to this extra-legal change.

    I can also see, as you point out, how Pavco and all its employees benefit, and the businesses that will get to operate in the new development, but where is the benefit to the residents of BC from allowing these large Las Vegas gambling concerns – long reputed to have ties to organized crime – into our province? And where is the benefit to local residents?

    My point stands.

    No Creekside Park for local residents? No Casino!

  • You Live where?

    So Gordo has just bitch-slapped Gregor, the City of Vancouver & all Vancouverites . . . just so he can find a scummy way to pay for his new roof.

    No city planning, no citizens’s reviews . nada, zilch.

    Where’s the NDP, the great protector of civil liberties?

  • tf

    I’ve seen the preliminary drawings and this is nothing but a shopping mall. Think Pacific Centre and you will know the success of drawing people inside in Vancouver.
    I’m reminded of my hometown in Ontario where the centre of the downtown used to be an open block with a heritage building and weekly markets. This city block was sold to Eatons and a giant monstrosity descended on the city. It choked the area and the entire downtown went into decline. Eatons has long gone and it’s now a huge call centre!?!
    Just recently, they have revived the downtown by opening up another city block just north of the previous space. It’s a fabulous open space where people can see each other across streets and gather to enjoy various outdoor activities, even in the harsh Ontario winter.
    Why do designers and planners think that a gigantic block of interior space is a good move for any city? It doesn’t help a city to build anything that dwarves the human scale and the designs I’ve seen do nothing to create a welcoming city!

  • Bill Lee

    Yes, lets have the medias stop using the pseudo-glamourous word “casino” in favour of gambling den. It’s all about slots, not tables.

    Then they should get the Quebec government studies on suicides and their gambling dens, though there are many local archival stories of loan-sharking, suicides, fires, business failures and such from gambling losses.

    Cadman today was saying that city revenues from the former PNE racetrack now a slot hall and the Edgwater False creek slot hall are substantially down.

    Would the NDP have the new gambling den killed. Can they do without the lotto/gambling/bingo receipts, and shouldn’t they?
    approved by courts on 23 March 2010

  • katey

    Oh boy . . a 24hr a day casino across the street from a Day Care center and a proposed drug addict rehab building.

    Now that’s good urban planning. Hope the kids in the Day Care are OK with all the traffic and gamblers.

  • 5 Card Monty

    Casinos are needed for laundering drug money, it is simple as that!

  • david hadaway

    In colloquial Italian “casino” means “brothel” or “f**k up”. Well there are some politicians who have clearly sold their souls on this one, their own past words condemn them as utter hypocrites. This is a business that can only be compared to illicit drugs and the arms trade in its destructive effects and the steadily increasing reliance of charities and government on its revenues is exactly comparable to a pusher creating addiction.

    No matter how it is glamourized or spun, building this casino makes as much sense as drinking poison.

  • booge

    “casino” … yep. i smell all kinds of graft and sleaze.

  • Bill Lee

    They get half-way and stop and then it becomes the gaudish new Vancouver Art Gallery ??

    How is BC Lotto online gambling affecting slots usage? They have increased the daily limits.
    Is being next to Chinatown considered essential as the Keefer and Main gambling den closed down several years ago, and buses parked outside to take people to Cloverdale and Bellingham dens have stopped?

    The Socio-Economic Impact of Gambling (SEIG) Framework

  • Bill Smolick


  • landlord

    Casinos are as bad as drugs, arms trade, poison? Governments are responsible for the stupid choices of their citizens?
    Grow up. If you have any real evidence that casinos are laundering money call the police. If legal gaming disappeared tomorrow the criminals would be the first to cheer. That hands the suckers to them on a platter.
    The self-righteous are free to try talking people out of wasting their time and money on games of chance, or getting high or buying guns, but they will fail.
    If you disapprove of gambling, don’t gamble. Spare the rest of your your moralizing.

  • “Casinos are as bad as drugs, arms trade, poison?”

    Jaywalking is rarely fatal. For some reason we still don’t encourage it with gov’t funding.

    “If you have any real evidence that casinos are laundering money call the police.”

    If only there was was a city somewhere, built on Mob money, to use an example of how organized crime uses gambling as a means of laundering money. Preferably it would present opportunities to be married by Elvis as well.

    “The self-righteous are free to try talking people out of wasting their time and money on games of chance, or getting high or buying guns, but they will fail.”

    Somehow I’m having trouble seeing how buying drugs or gambling is on the same plane as buying guns. Ten bucks says an entirely different motivation is at work in your final example. 🙂

  • david hadaway

    No, I don’t think I’ll spare you my moralizing at all.

    Over a million people in this country are thought to have a gambling problem. It seems to be particularly destructive to family life and have a high suicide rate.

    I’m not proposing supression, the ‘war on drugs’ has long since proven that is not rational. Nor did I say that “Governments are responsible for the stupid choices of their citizens”, but excuse me if I feel some revulsion at a glitzy casino in a prime location being promoted by smiling politicians as some wondrous benefit to our city.

    We have long since crossed the line between control of the problem to active promotion. For the government this an excellent source of revenue, a ‘poor and stupid tax’. Meanwhile the charities taking their much smaller cut act as a fig leaf for corporations making multi-millions out of human weakness. You may find all this acceptable but others can disagree without being self righteous

  • landlord

    It’s not a question of acceptable or unacceptable. It’s not up to me to judge the actions or motives of others.
    People make a living by meeting the needs of their fellow man (and woman). Who is to say which needs are best? How do you allow some transactions and forbid others? The State has two realistic options : cleaning up the mess left by poor choices, and relying upon education and persuasion to encourage intelligent choices.
    People are greedy and foolish. They smoke; they self-medicate; they eat red meat; they pollute the rivers, the oceans, the air; they believe that might makes right; they promote nonsensical belief systems.
    What is to be done? Two things : lead by example, and appeal to Reason. Both require infinite patience and a willingness to forgive people who can’t overcome their human nature.
    With luck someday they’ll be as smart as you.

  • david hadaway

    I smoke occasionally, drink a little more often, buy the odd lottery ticket. I don’t expect the government or anyone else to either stop me or to encourage me. The latter is the problem with the casino,

    A potentially very destructive habit, with well established connections to criminality, is being actively promoted and glamourized not only by the private interests that profit from it but also, for a variety of reasons, by our government. As a result there may well be a lot more ‘cleaning up’ and ‘education and persuasion’ needed. I don’t think you have to be that smart or righteous to see the conflict.

  • landlord

    Driving cars fuelled by petroleum on a vast network of roads. A destructive habit, with connections to criminality, promoted and glamourized by the private interests that profit from it and by our government.
    That habit threatens the survival not only of the weak-minded but of the species and of the planet. No-one has any idea how to break it. Slot-machines and lotteries are nothing in comparison.

  • Glissando Remmy


    You said:
    “Somehow I’m having trouble seeing how buying drugs or gambling is on the same plane as buying guns.”

    I say, read on:
    “Michigan – A small-business owner, had just returned from a trip to the Las Vegas Strip’s MGM Grand Tuesday when he allegedly killed his pregnant wife and three children (under 7 years old) before turning the gun on himself. In his Mich., home, police found a suicide note blaming gambling addiction – and $225,000 in shredded casino markers. His business was $500,000 in debt because he withdrew the money to cover his gambling.”
    Las Vegas Sun 11/22/00 Las Vegas Review-Journal 11/23/00

    And then, go here:

    Then read this:
    “He told me that he wanted to know when it would be done so he could have an alibi,” said Pachter, adding that Peterson made the offer to him not long after Pachter tried to borrow $1,000 from Peterson to pay off a gambling debt.”
    Witness: Drew Peterson Offered $25K To Kill Savio, Chicago Area Local News

    Gambling, Prostitution, Drugs, Guns. They mix. One completes the other. You can “bet” on it!

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • GR:

    my remark was in response to this statement:
    “The self-righteous are free to try talking people out of wasting their time and money on games of chance, or getting high or buying guns, but they will fail.”

    I understand the three are interconnected at many levels, my point was that the writer of that sentence seems to suggest the all three actions stem from a similar desire for entertainment or diversion. I maintain that’s probably not the case in most instances, unless we are going to lump hunting and target shooting into the same pot as gambling and drugs. However, I don’t know of too many Hunting Anonymous groups.

  • Not too much to say except I don’t think a casino is a right use of the land around BC place, and the design rendering I have seen are rather disappointing to speak the less, and always surprised at how the province advance with so little public scrutiny in those matters

    I have put more here:

  • Morven

    The clash between the city and the province over the casino site will be fascinating.

    It seems as if, in urban and other planning processes in B.C., that all the provincial government has to do is invoke “the provincial interest” and all the regulatory impediments are, at a stroke, removed.

    So what about small business and small contractors that have to abide by municipal rules (at great cost) when the big investors seem to have their path magically smoothed by the province.

    Something is seriously amiss.


  • booge

    “SOMETHING is amiss” alright … very amiss. the city should put up a legal challenge. Vancouverites should have say in whether they want this monsterity in their city.

    And this is not a fair and accurate rendering:

  • East Vancouverite

    Paragon Gaming does not appear to be the industry titan that the Province’s press release made it out to be.

    So far it owns all of three casinos, none of them in Las Vegas. In addition to the Edgewater Casino in Vancouver they own the River Cree hotel and casino in Edmonton and the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Edmonton.

  • Vancouver Real Estate =DrugMoney

    Vancouver Real Estate = Drug Money
    Just another way to launder the proceeds of crime. Fiberals turning your future into a third world slum, to fund their retirement to palm springs.