News / Vancouver

Vancouver places (another) barrier to prohibit gambling expansion

The city really, really doesn’t want any more slot machines or gaming tables at the Edgewater Casino – ever.

Council voted Tuesday to place a restrictive covenant on title to the property of the casino to “prohibit any future increase in any form of gambling entertainment including the number of slot machines and gaming tables.”

As it stands, a city bylaw allows the casino to have 75 gaming tables and 600 slot machines. A public hearing would be required to change the bylaw.

But community members and Coun. Adriane Carr expressed concerns that the large floor space planned for the new building – Paragon, which operates the casino, received permission to move to a larger space on Smithe Street as part of a major new resort – would allow for future expansion of gambling.

City planner Brian Jackson said the restrictive covenant was redundant, but it would be a “third level of security” to prevent the expansion of gambling.

The city will also write to the B.C. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch requesting that they follow the Gaming Control Act, which gives authority to impose conditions on a gaming licence holder if there are concerns over the integrity, lawful conduct or management of gaming.

That request stems from controversy over Michael Graydon, the president of the company affiliated with Paragon that is overseeing the revitalization and relocation of the Edgewater Casino.

Graydon, the former CEO of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), was found in conflict of interest by his former employer for taking the job with Paragon earlier this year.

Paragon did not respond to a request for comment.

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