Paragon Gaming of Las Vegas and Vancouver, British Columbia has earned a preliminary permit to build a 5 million casino complex in downtown Vancouver. The development will include two hotel towers, restaurants, a conference center and a gaming floor.
The existing Edgewater Casino will be moved from a smaller location across the street to the new complex next to B.C. Place Stadium. The controversial move will double the casino’s gaming area but not increase the number of slot machines and table games.
“Today’s decision by the Development Permit Board ensures that the proponent will have to align operations with the concerns raised in the recent Provincial Health Officer’s Report on Gambling,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement last month. He added that if proponents of the casino do not “address the health concerns raised by Dr. Perry Kendall,” they may not proceed with the relocation.
The plan has raised concerns that more people will be drawn in to gamble and compulsive gambling will increase.
The Vancouver Development Permit Board decided December 16 to support the proposed casino expansion, which will increase Edgewater’s gaming floor area from about 36,700 square feet to 72,000 square feet. That does not change the limits of the casino’s license, which caps the number of slot machines at 600 and table games at 75, according to the Journal of Commerce.
Opponents of the new casino plan argue that the move is the first step toward further expansion of gambling at the property, which will now have more space per slot machine than any other casino in North America.