Province could send failed BC Place casino to Surrey
The proposed casino expansion at BC Place is facing increasing criticism from community activists in Vancouver, leaving the Province to consider moving the project to Surrey if it fails to pass Vancouver City Council next month.
The 1,500 slot, 150 table casino, operated by Paragon Gaming, is designed to be a major regional attraction for locals and tourists alike. The casino is accompanied by two hotels, six restaurants, a spa, and 30,000 square feet of conference and banquet space. The LEED Gold development would send the BC Government $6 annually in a 70 year agreement, paying for majority of the BC Place roof replacement project. The new casino complex is expected to bring in $23 million annually to the City of Vancouver.
An article in the Globe and Mail notes that, according to Paragon Gaming President Michael Graydon, “the corporation would likely go to other municipalities that have been asking for casinos, including Port Moody and Surrey.”
Surrey currently has one casino – Fraser Downs in Cloverdale. The City’s gaming policy restricts casino expansions to regional or provincial scale projects that would provide tourism benefits, such as the River Rock Casino in Richmond. A former proposal had included a casino complex in the now cancelled Berezan 70-storey tower development near King George Station. Another proposal on the table, by developer Bob Cheema, would see a casino and convention centre built near Hwy 99 in South Surrey.