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Northeast False Creek residents plan forum on casino

January 19th, 2011 · 7 Comments

There’s a community-sponsored forum on the casino being planned for Feb. 7, as a post from Sean Bickerton has informed us. I’m reposting his info here for those rare people who don’t read all the comments. Here’s his full set of comments. I am assuming this will be in addition to the public meeting that is now being organized by the city, as per a decision at council yesterday.

The proposed casino expansion will triple the number of tables and addictive slot machines from the number currently in Edgewater Casino. Triple.

Instead of a locally-owned business responsive to community concerns as Edgewater was, we will have a massive Vegas gambling corporation that has made absolutely no effort to reach out to the local community or address our many concerns.

They are also contributing no local amenities other than the Smithe Street extension designed to deliver traffic to their door and not connect to Quebec as originally promised.

They have made no provision to provide daycare for their own shift workers, downloading this cost onto the local community when daycare slots are rare and heavily subsidized by the city and non-profits.

And finally, we have all seen reports on TV about the failure of the program to help protect problem gamblers. Yet the staff report indicates this casino will impact nearly 25,000 Vancouverites with that devastating, family-destroying problem.

The RCMP have raised very serious concerns about money-laundering and the failure of existing casinos to report large cash transactions as required.

There is no need for this massive expansion of gambling in downtown Vancouver, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This huge behemoth in our midst will change the character of our city forever.

My simple suggestion is to keep Edgewater the same size and allow the new owners to move it nearer the stadium. It already makes millions of dollars every year for the owners and provides $10 million to city coffers annually as well.

I should add that a broad-based coalition is opposing the casino expansion and we will be hosting a public forum on February 7 to debate the merits of this proposal. Save the Date!

Our group includes the False Creek Residents Association, Strathcona Residents Association, Grandview Woodland Area Council, BC Charitable Gaming Association representing charities and non-profits, and the Alliance for the Arts in Vancouver. Others are joining us and I encourage anyone interested in joining our fight to contact us at [email protected]


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