CASINO

BCLC sued for misleading casino developer on gaming projects for First Nations

TAGs: BCLC, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Canada, David Moretto, Jasmine Solana, Jim Lightbody, michael graydon, Pinnacle Gaming Solutions

A casino and gaming developer is taking the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) to court, claiming the corporation led it on regarding the possibility of opening gaming facilities on North Shore, only to award the exclusive to another company.

BCLC sued for misleading casino developer on gaming projects for First NationsPinnacle Gaming Solutions is owned by North Vancouver resident David Moretto. In his lawsuit filed last Jan. 8, Moretto said his company was retained by several First Nations, including the Tsleil-Waututh, in October 2007 to help them with “the prospect of developing gaming facilities on their lands.”

According to a North Shore News report, which quoted the lawsuit, Moretto and the Tsleil-Waututh had an agreement that Pinnacle would be its agent in developing a casino on their land. Among Pinnacle’s responsibilities is to talk to BCLC and go through the necessary process for licensing. If the development pushes through, Pinnacle will receive a percentage of the casino’s gross revenues.

From 2008 to 2015, Pinnacle representatives met with their BCLC counterparts, including BCLC presidents Michael Graydon and Jim Lightbody, to talk about the gaming facilities project for the First Nations, according to a The Province report.

Pinnacle said BCLC gave them the impression there is a high approval chance for a casino application, especially since both parties concluded during their long-drawn meetings that the proposed gaming facilities have the potential to generate profits.

North Shore News quoted Pinnacle saying, “BCLC was particularly in favor of the proposed gaming facility on Tsleil-Waututh lands as there were no casino or gaming facilities on the North Shore and no other gaming facilities proposed for the North Shore.

But in April last year, Pinnacle learned that the lottery corporation granted Playtime Gaming Centres, owned by Tom Nellis, the exclusive right to develop a gambling facility on the North Shore.

“BCLC improperly and unlawfully Mr. Nellis and Playtime the exclusive right to develop a gaming facility on the North Shore in or about 2009 and failed to disclose that fact to Pinnacle despite years of negotiations with Pinnacle,” the company said in its lawsuit.

Pinnacle is seeking general, special, aggravated and punitive damages, claiming that it has incurred “substantial financial losses” during the course of the representations made to BCLC.

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