Number of Edgewater slots won’t go up: Vancouver mayor 0
Vancouver Not Vegas co-founder Sandy Garossino is concerned about the effects of the relocation of Edgewater Casino. (NICK EAGLAND/ 24 HOURS)
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says gambling will not expand in the city under his watch.
Robertson issued a statement following a press conference Tuesday by anti-casino group Vancouver Not Vegas. The mayor reiterated that city bylaws cap the number of slots and tables allowed at the proposed new site for the Edgewater Casino.
"I've been very clear that there will not be any expansion of gambling in the City of Vancouver while I am mayor,” he said.
Vancouver Not Vegas wants to delay Paragon Gaming Corporation’s application to move the Edgewater to a spot near B.C. Place Stadium, and is urging more public input and study of harm reduction strategies for problem gambling.
“We’re calling on Mayor Gregor Robertson to delay the development permit application, to send it back for study for the development of a harm reduction and harm prevention strategy in the casino itself,” said group spokeswoman Sandy Garossino.
She said gambling addiction costs taxpayers millions annually in health-care expenses and that her group has the support of citizens, health officials and scholars.
Paragon also released a statement following the press conference touting the economic boon the casino’s development will bring Vancouver and ensuring Paragon’s cooperation with city hall.
“We are engaged and working with the City to respond to their review of the compliance of Vancouver Gaming Facilities with the BC Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations,” wrote spokeswoman Tamara Hicks. “We are committed to absolute best practices in responsible gaming.”
UPDATED DEC.11 TO INCLUDE COMMENT FROM PARAGON