The city of Vancouver intends to work with casinos and the municipal health department to keep casino gambling lighthearted for players. The city is responding to a report from the provincial health officer, who cited concerns about increased problem gambling across BC.
Kerry Jang, one of Vancouver’s most respected city councilors, is leading the movement to improve casino gambling in the city. Jang led a majority of city councilors in passing a motion last week to hold new meetings with casino managers and the Vancouver Coastal Health agency to ensure BC casinos meet the standards laid out in the provincial report.
“We’ve got to keep it on the fun side and not let it cross over to the dangerous side. Presently I have not seen anything to give me concern; however, we want to make sure it stays that way.”
The new approach comes as the Edgewater Casino, one of Vancouver’s most exquisite gaming centres, is being relocated by its operators, Paragon Gaming. The casino is currently situated along the False Creek waterfront, but is expected to be redeveloped directly across from BC Place – onetime host facility of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and one of the city’s largest tourist attractions.
Paragon intends to redesign Edgewater Casino as an “urban resort,” featuring a greater abundance of popular casino games. Councilor Jang and other supporters want to ensure the new plans will not increase the frequency that casino patrons can play high-risk games. However, Jang believes reviews can be completed without toughening regulations for casino operators.
“If we need to lower the boom, there is all sorts of permitting and things like that we can use.”
Paragon will be one of many operators involved in council meetings. Vancouver’s City Manager Dr. Penny Ballem, has sent meeting requests to all casino operators in the Greater Vancouver Area.