Vancouver city council has gone all in on a motion it bets will hamstring Paragon Gaming’s ability to expand Edgewater Casino.
Green party councillor Adriane Carr says council voted to place a restrictive covenant on the casino property.
“Which will on title be very binding in terms of making sure that the number of slot machines, the number of gaming tables, in other words the amount of gambling that can take place on that property is absolutely restricted to what is in place now.”
Carr says this will be a huge roadblock for Paragon’s plans.
“Despite the fact that paragon is building a larger casino. In fact that casino has under the zoning bylaw a lot more room for expansion of gambling they simply won’t be able to do it. The number of gaming tables, the number of slot machines, the amount of gambling itself is very restricted to what they have got now.”
Carr says the provincial government does have a role to play in gambling, which is covered under provincial legislation, but she feels the city has locked Edgewater down even should the BC Government choose to interfere.
“The province has authority under the gaming act and could have possibly changed that gaming act, which would have allowed it to permit increased gambling this covenant prevents that from happening. It is just one more layer of protection and the strongest layer of protection in the event the province does decide or could decide to do something different and take away some of the city’s authority.”
Paragon Gaming has plans to relocate and double the size of Edgewater casino.
Sandy Garossino, with Vancouver not Vegas, is ecstatic over the council motion, which she says also includes addressing the Michael Graydon situation
“City council will now be referring the Graydon matter to GPEB for review to see if GPEB might consider imposing some conditions on his term at Paragon gaming.”
GPEB is the BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.
Michael Graydon was found to be in conflict of interest while moving from the BC Lottery Corporation to a new job with Paragon Gaming.
Garossino says the cap on gaming tables and slot machines hits Paragon Gaming where it hurts.
“It has got to be something that would force their investors to rethink. The casino floor that they are proposing is more than twice the size of any comparable casino. Obviously it is being built with the view of expanding at some point. This restrictive covenant is just a nail in the coffin for them.”
She says the province would face an uphill battle in court if it wanted to challenge the covenant.