Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Online journalists saved the bacon

Gordon Campbell and PavCo's David Podmore made an announcement in March 2010:
"Downtown Vancouver is getting a new $450-million casino and hotel complex to anchor its new "entertainment epicentre," B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell confirmed on Friday morning.

"Campbell made the announcement with David Podmore, the chair of the B.C. Pavilion Corporation, at a news conference at the proposed site for the complex — a parking lot between BC Place and the end of the Cambie Street Bridge.

"The casino... will also include two major hotels, five restaurants, and more than 100,000 square feet of gambling facilities, said Campbell, who called the project a catalyst for development of the area."
BC Business, cheerleader for a giant casino at BC Place had this to say in October 2010:
"Paragon’s Vancouver play is one more step in the expansion of the B.C. gambling industry, which may soon pour more money into provincial coffers than all corporate income taxes combined. Gambling – or gaming, to use the industry euphemism – is a lucrative business."
It was not mainstream media that provided probing analyses of the Paragon/PavCo partnership. They were egaged supporters while non-traditional media, bloggers and sites such as Vancouver Not Vegas, gave the project a rough ride. Today, we can be glad the casino/hotel project went away; it would have been another serious drain on provincial funds, probably double the $450 million Paragon talked about early on.

At Northern Insights in March 2011, readers got Gaming the taxpayers with more ersatz capitalism:
"There is double counting of benefits because they report expected revenue generation of the new facility without deducting revenues of the facilities it would replace.

"Paragon Gaming Inc. will count on its relationship with provincially owned PavCo to help bankroll its proposed $450-million Vancouver casino, says Paragon president Scott Menke.

..."No doubt PavCo will provide sufficient funds if Paragon cannot. Apparently, what this connected company does have in abundance is major influence with the BC Liberal Government and PavCo. Should we wonder why this generosity was not provided to a Vancouver company? No, we don't have to wonder. RossK explained it at The Gazeteer.
BC Business wanted us to believe gaming would pour money into provincial coffers but experience elsewhere suggests that Paragon's project would have been relying mightily on the public purse. That may explain why Paragon got T. Richard Turner involved; they needed more juice with the Liberal government.

The Guardian provides an interesting recap of what is happening in Las Vegas. In addition to being America's gambling capital it is America's foreclosure capital: Las Vegas hotels: hard times hit famous names
"Eyesores, faded legends, celebrity hangouts - the lowdown on Vegas's most famous hotels.

"A drive north along Las Vegas Boulevard soon shows how hard the city was hit by the recession..."
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