When the proposed relocation of the Edgewater Casino was rejected by Robertson and folks at city hall, city residents declared victory. This was considered a “victory”, despite the fact that a casino is already in the neighbourhood and that council actually approved the relocation, not the expansion. Looking at the situation closely, with a municipal election coming up, Robertson and city council wanted to appease public worries and it worked. Well fast forward 10 days after the election and the proposed relocation that was approved is now made official. It should be noted that gaming expansion was not approved, but that will soon follow.
The approval will allow Paragon to proceed with a development that includes a casino and two hotel towers containing 650 rooms. It will also contain 1.2 million sq. ft of retail space, including a spa, meeting/convention space, restaurants, bars and even a cabaret. The casino itself will be restricted in size to 600 slot machines (developer wanted 1500) and 75 tables (originally 150 were proposed), this will be the same size as the current Edgewater Casino. The goal is to make this a destination casino.
The design itself is nothing special and it blocks most of the new stadium. At the very least they should come up with something better aesthetically.
Gregor Robertson reiterated yesterday that expansion would not take place. I believe him. However, he won’t be in office forever and sooner or later the expansion will happen. The Casino will be built to handle the earlier expansion that was desired by the casino operator. It’s just a matter of time.
Gambling opponents will no doubt be wary of the new casino. I imagine that they are visualizing The Simpsons casino episode as they vehemetly shake their fists at the computer screen.