Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Casino Royale Bombshell, Part Deux....How Many Sides Does This Street Have?


Well, well, well......Whaddy'a know....

It turns out that the Campbell government insider who phoned up the Minister responsible for BC Place and allegedly told him that the loss of the retractable roof might a 'deal breaker' actually had a financial interest in the business of the Las Vegas Casino builder/operator, Paragon Gaming Inc., long before anyone previously thought.

Sean Holman of the independent Public Eye has broken this story too. Here is Mr. Holman's lede:

"T. Richard Turner had a stake in a Paragon Gaming Inc. casino development in Alberta while he was chair of British Columbia Lottery Corp.'s board of directors, Public Eye has exclusively learned. In an interview, Mr. Turner - who became head of the lottery corporation in December 2003 - confirmed he's a minority shareholder in Tamarack Fund (2003) Limited Partnership. That partnership owns a portion of Edmonton's River Cree Resort and Casino, which was developed by Paragon Gaming and the Enoch Cree First Nation. In response to an inquiry placed by Public Eye on March 31, a spokesperson for the lottery corporation stated Mr. Turner advised BCLC of that financial interest in January 2005. Back then, Paragon Gaming had no operations in British Columbia. Nor was Mr. Turner aware it had any West Coast ambitions....."

Go and read Sean's entire post - it's worth every pixel times 458 million, give or take.


I'm on the run at the moment.....Will have more to say about the implications of all this later.

Regardless, I don't know about you, but I can't help but wonder if this just might be enough for members of the Provincial proMedia Punditry, Vaughn Palmer included, to upgrade this scandal from potentially 'smelly' to downright putrid.....




Anonymous said...

Turner's OIC as Chair of BCLC was rescinded in December of 2005. I'd guess that at some point in 2005 Turner became the likely owner of a piece of Edgewater. I do know that the negotiations between Edgewater and Paragon were long and drawn out and close in time to this period.

It is inconceivable that his involvement in the corp didn't give his partnership a leg up in those negotiations, even if they were consumated after his appointment was rescinded.

There is an enormous conflict looming here.

RossK said...


It seems logical to postulate that some negotiations for the purchase were going on in Dec 2005.

What I would really like to know is the following....Were those negotiations still going on in July 2006 when Mr. Turner became a Paragon Director?....

Any insight there?



Anonymous said...

The move from BCLC to ICBC in late 2005 is very suspicious.

It almost doesn't matter whether negotiations were going on when he became a director in Oct, 2006. If he was a partner with Paragon from 2003 on in the Alberta business, and that business or its parent was in negotiations for Edgewater the conflict is there in spades.

What I wonder is who were the directors of the numbered company that amalgamated with Paragon in 2006. Was Turner a director or involved?

RossK said...

Excellent precis re: the potential conflict Anon - thanks.

I've very much been wondering about the Numbered Co. myself....And if it was involved in any other deals involving Paragon....