Well, well, well.....
The Edgewater Casino, whose license will soon be flipped into the massive Casino Industrial Complex adjoining the re-roofed Marshmallow, was conceived way back in 2003.
And, as Sean Holman reported yesterday, one of the conditions of the Edgewater's birthing was that its owners would also build a Charitable Bingo Facility*.
Who knew that taking care not to damage the Bingo business which, even now, generates large sums of money for various charities, from sports groups to daycare centers, was once an important issue to regulatory bodies and/or municipalities bent on trying to do the right thing.
And from a provincial point of view, it was ultimately the job of the BC Lottery Corporation to oversee the process and approve the new license for the Edgewater.
At that time, the fine folks from Vegas, Paragon Gaming Inc., together with the unknown investors hiding behind a Numbered Company and Mr. T. Richard Turner, did not yet own the Edgewater - they bought it in 2006 and promptly re-upped on the promise to build the Bingo Parlour as part of the license renewal process after the initial owners failed to follow through.
But here's the thing.
When the original deal went down and the BC Lottery Corporation approved the plan for the Edgewater, which included the then very controversial addition of slots as well as gaming tables (ie. it was a class '2' license), the man in charge was none other than Mr. T. Richard Turner.
Was there anything nefarious in that?
Of course not.
Especially given that the City, which was at that time being run by COPE/pre-Vision Vancouver, was also on board.
But here's something else kind of interesting that was also included in the City's Planning Document that Mr. Holman used as one of his primary sources for the Bingo post:
"....The casino proponents are seeking a permanent site for a new casino with a bingo facility. However, that project (site selection, programming, design, approvals, construction and occupancy) will take several years to accomplish. In the interim, the proponents wish to locate a temporary Casino - Class 2 at the Plaza of Nations....."
In other words, right from the beginning, the current Edgewater site was only meant to be a temporary home.
Which meant that whomever owned the Edgewater also owned a casino license that was built to move.
And that fundamental portability was as true in 2006, when Mr. T. Richard Turner bought into the then financially ailing Edgewater with Paragon and the Numbers, as it was back in 2003 when the very same Mr. Turner oversaw the deal in the first place.
Oh, and just in case you forgot, as Mr. Holman reported last week, Mr. Turner first bought into a separate, out-of-province casino project being run by Paragon way back in the year of.....
Is there anything nefarious in that?
Of course not.
*Andrea Woo, also noted this as well in her not-so-foolish April 1st VSun story on the Casino Industrial Complex announcement wherein she noted that the group involved, Planet Bingo, even now supports over 100 charities.....Clearly, the social safety net's dependence on this revenue stream is a lot more serious than being hooked on phonics.....