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New casino worth $17M a year to Vancouver

Paragon Gaming’s casino and hotel proposal is going to a public hearing Feb. 17.

Vancouver city council referred the matter Tuesday after reviewing the application to rezone land owned by B.C. Pavilion Corporation.

The application includes the proposal for Paragon to move Edgewater Casino from the Plaza of Nations and triple the number of slot machines at the new site west of B.C. Place Stadium.

A staff report said the city stands to increase its cut of casino profits by $10 million to $17 million a year.

PavCo chairman David Podmore told QMI earlier Tuesday the complex would also put $5.5 million into the city coffers annually via property taxes. He said the casino was just one-eighth of the project.

COPE Coun. David Cadman, however, said staff should calculate the net cost because of policing the casino. He said expanded gambling could impact the rate of suicides and organized crime.

An estimated 13.3 percent of British Columbians have gambling problems or addictions.

Vision Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie, the Pacific National Exhibition chairman, said Paragon could harm the viability of the Hastings “racino” and jeopardize the PNE master plan.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 Hours.

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