Trouble may lie ahead for Vancouver’s Edgewater Casino, what with Las Vegas-based developer Paragon accused by the province’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) of failure to meet registration criteria.
The chief problem lies in the relationship between Paragon leadership and the former head of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), Michael Graydon. While Graydon still worked for BCLC, he negotiated a new job with PV Hospitality, an affiliate of Paragon Gaming that later became part of the Edgewater Casino ULC entity. Before GPEB’s review of the matter, a separate provincial investigation found Graydon guilty of a conflict of interest.
Ripples at Edgewater Casino
While GPEB’s review was supposed to focus only on Grayson and the alleged misconduct, investigators took it further, instead reviewing the entire casino development. Readers may recall that Paragon already broke ground on the Edgewater project, despite lack of full Vancouver permitting. GPEB will review the terms and conditions of the agreement to see whether Graydon “is required to be registered as a gaming worker,” The Province reports.
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia member, David Eby, noted the significant shift in scope of the investigation, which he deemed appropriate after Paragon’s pullout from Alberta’s Eagle River Casino. Speaking to The Province, Eby said that, “Our original letter was to ask the regulator to review Mr. Graydon’s conduct in violation of provincial conflict of interest policy…[now] the regulator says they are not just investigating Mr. Graydon, but… also investigating …Paragon. Certainly, if Paragon is under investigation, that is a major issue for this entire development. [sic]”
British Columbia’s Ministry of Finance issued a statement that, “This type of activity could take several months. As the examination is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment.” Paragon is in full cooperation with the investigation, but has no further comment. With Edgewater poised to bring 2,000 jobs and $180 million to Vancouver, swift resolution in this matter is critical.