Construction on the $535-million urban casino resort next to BC Place Stadium could begin as early as next year.
The City of Vancouver Development Permit Board approved the proposal to relocate Edgewater Casino to a new massive casino-hotel complex on a vacant site located on the southern end of BC Place Stadium next to the Cambie Street Bridge.
Nearly a hundred people attended the public hearing at City Hall, with the majority speaking against the new proposal.
The current proposal comes in the heels of the rejected 2011 proposal which called for a significant expansion of the gaming floor.
Addressing those concerns, the new casino resort will not be any larger than the existing Edgewater Casino and will maintain the 600 slot machines and 75 gambling tables currently found at the Plaza of Nations building.
The proponents are also required to align their operations with the concerns raised in the recent Provincial Health Officer’s Report on Gambling. This means expanded in-facility harm-reduction programs for gambling addicts and the unusual practice of limiting the number of ATMs, hours of liquor service and casino operating hours which conflicts with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s jurisdiction.
Most casinos in Canada, the United States and elsewhere in the world operate 24/7 with the exception of casino facilities in some smaller towns in Eastern Canada. BCLC is charged with determining casino operating hours, not the local municipal government.
In addition to the 72,000 square foot gambling floor, it will have 550 guest rooms spread over two boutique hotels and space for restaurants and retail.
Pavco will retain ownership of the land while Paragon will lease the land over a 70-year term. The development is a partnership between Paragon Development, 360 VOX Corporation and the Dundee Corporation.
The development will have an overall size of 675,000 square feet, create 2,000 jobs within the complex and generate $180 million annually for the local economy.
It will help create an urban entertainment centre for local residents and visitors, maximize event potential for BC Place Stadium, and will greatly increase the city’s hospitality, entertainment, tourism and conference opportunities.
Developers are aiming for a late-2016 completion and opening.