BCLC scraps shipboard slots plan; Paragon says Parq Vancouver to open in late-2016

TAGs: BCLC, paragon

paragon-parq-vancouver-casinoThe Canadian province of British Columbia has rejected a proposal to launch shipboard slot machines on BC Ferries.

On Monday, BC Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced that the government no longer supported the proposal, which would have added slot machines to the list of BC Ferries’ entertainment options. The quasi-Crown corporation, which operates a ferry service between the mainland and its adjacent islands, had originally floated the idea of a shipboard slots pilot program on its main route two years ago.

The plan called for the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) provincial gaming monopoly to own the slots while ferry staff would have been tasked with monitoring their use. Stone said an analysis conducted by BCLC had projected the shipboard slots program would lose around $240k per year due to increased staffing, technical support and equipment costs.

Meanwhile, work is finally underway on Paragon Gaming’s $600m casino project in downtown Vancouver. The casino, which plans to operate under the Parq Vancouver brand when it opens in late 2016, will see the Nevada-based Paragon and its local partners 360 VOX/Dundee Corporation and PBC VUR Limited Partnership transfer operations from the old Edgewater Casino to a larger space butting up against the BC Place stadium.

The move was originally floated back in 2011 but ran into opposition from anti-gambling types who questioned Paragon’s plans to dramatically expand the property’s gaming footprint. The city council eventually required Paragon to sign a deal restricting the new property’s gaming options to Edgewater’s current level of 75 gaming tables and 600 slot machines.

In December 2014, Paragon received permission to begin work on the property’s underground parking facilities. Last week, Paragon received its final development permit from the Vancouver planning department. Paragon used the occasion to announce that Parq’s estimated cost had risen to $600m from its previous $535m budget, reflecting its revised plans to beef up the project’s non-gaming amenities.

Once complete, Parq will boast two Marriott hotels, eight restaurants, a spa, retail, convention and special event space along with what will be the city’s largest ballroom. The property will offer 466 rooms and 51 luxury suites, along with a 30k-square-foot urban park and a “living lobby.”


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