Development Woes for Alberta Casino Complex

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Las Vegas and Vancouver-based developer Paragon Gaming, which is currently building an urban resort in Vancouver, recently landed in hot water over the fate of an Alberta casino complex. Receivership proceedings have been initiated in Alberta on behalf of the Eagle River Casino in Whitecourt, some 180 km from Edmonton. Read on below for more on the development woes for Alberta Complex.

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Casino Development Woes

The Eagle River Casino, a partnership between Paragon and the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, opened in 2008, but suffered financial difficulties. The Sioux Nation expected that a hotel would be built during a second development phase, which would give gamers a lodging option close to the casino action. The hotel was never built.

In an affidavit, Don Kootenay, affiliated with the Sioux Nations group, wrote that Paragon Gaming’s “Mr. Menke promised then-chief Cameron Alexis of the Nation, who then informed members of the Nation, that the hotel would be constructed in 2011…. That did not happen and the Nation has lost faith and confidence in Mr. Menke’s word, and therefore Paragon’s promises, ever since.”

According to Paragon, Alberta’s government changed its policy regarding funding, which made it impossible to finance the hotel. All of this comes to light as Paragon tries to move forward with its new casino development in Vancouver. In 2013, the City of Vancouver approved Paragon’s development permit for the complex.

The new multi-use complex will house the Edgewater Casino, which will relocate from Vancouver’s Plaza of Nations and offer 75 gaming tables and 600 slot machines. The casino will also have shops, restaurants, and a hotel, and is set to hire at least 10 percent of its employees from downtown Vancouver.

If it really was a matter of difficult financial times and an inability to get funding, what happened in Alberta may have no impact on the Vancouver project. However, with casinos in Atlantic City shuttering, this does raise some concerns for gaming lovers. What if Paragon is again unable to follow through on its promises?