BCLC Optimistic About Vancouver Casino
Plans to expand the size of the Edgewater Casino in Vancouver and relocate to a more favorable location are still in the pipeline, with hopes that a new casino will be in operation within three years.
This is what the President and Chief Executive Officer of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), Michael Graydon, told the Vancouver Board of Trade this week.
Graydon told the panel that the lottery corporation is still trying to find a solution to the Edgewater Casino location, and is working closely with Paragon Gaming and PavCo on different ideas.
In April last year, the city council voted against BCLC's proposal to expand the casino to allow 1,500 slot machines, 150 table games and two new hotels.
The lottery, however, was given permission to relocate the casino as long as it did not exceed its current size.
"If it has to be 600 slot machines and 75 tables, we will build a tremendous facility that is going to delight our customers," said Graydon.
Michael Graydon addressed those people who opposed the idea of the relocation and expansion of the casino and said that the BCLC was optimistic about the Vancouver Casino.
"There are loyal people who are against it, but I will tell you that there are just as many, if not more who are actually in favor," said Graydon. "Unfortunately in this business, sometimes those in favor aren't the ones who come out on top."
Graydon continued that "it's the ones that are against it that come out and sometimes the momentum of anti-gaming rhetoric seems to take over, but I think as (people) watch it evolve and experience the facility, it'll be a jewel and not something to criticize."
As such, Graydon believes that a solution will be found and that the new Edgewater Casino will be up and running by 2015.
New Casino in South Surrey
Graydon also said that the group had made an application to construct a medium sized casino in South Surrey, and that he hoped that it would be in operation by 2014.
Last month, it was reported that Gateway Gaming and Entertainment, together with the BCLC, were planning to shut down a casino in Newton in favor of the $100 million yet-to-be-built casino in South Surrey.
The Newton location has always been a point of high contention between gambling opponents and proponents.
The new location would see the construction of casino on undeveloped green space, and would include a 200 suite, 4-5 star hotel, a casino and a 600 seat convention center.
The BCLC said that it would lead to 1,000 construction jobs, and another 500 full time jobs once the casino is approved.