I have been very clear that I am opposed to any expansion of gambling in the City of Vancouver. Today's decision by the Development Permit Board ensures that the proponent will have to align operations with the concerns raised in the recent Provincial Health Officer’s Report on Gambling.
Before a relocated casino can begin construction, the proponents have to come back with a plan that addresses the health concerns raised by Dr. Perry Kendall. If they don’t, it cannot proceed.
I'm pleased to see the Development Permit Board direction to the applicant to develop a management plan that will address Dr. Kendall’s recommendations, including issues such as access to alcohol, the availability and number of ATMs at the casino, and the need for a public health strategy to minimize risk and harm.
These steps go far beyond anything previously mandated by the city when it comes to gaming and public health.
Even with these conditions to the development permit, I've heard clear concerns from the community about the potential for future councils to expand gambling.
Given these public concerns, many of which were raised at today's Development Permit Board meeting, I will ask City staff to identify further measures to prevent any expansion of gambling in the future on this site, including amendments to by-laws or the Northeast False Creek Official Development Plan that will restrict the allowable casino floor space to the existing proposal.
- Mayor Gregor Robertson