A battle long brewing comes to a head tonight at City Hall
Mah believes there is a need to balance the possible social costs of gambling developments with support for those who might be negatively impacted. “If [Vancouver is] going to invest that much money into casinos, they need to very visibly put an equal amount of money into gambling addiction programs and [combating] similar, related addiction problems.”
When asked what effect he thought that the expanded venue would have on neighbouring businesses, Mah was not optimistic. “If you look at some of the other casinos, [they] are all-encompassing. They’ve got entertainment. They’ve got a wide variety of food... I think that there may not be a whole lot of spillover. It’s not like, you know, a hockey game, [where] you have a choice of having hot dogs or spending a couple of hours in a [nearby] pub, [which is] a decent spillover...I think a smaller-scale casino would be okay.”
Despite his desire to see outcomes balanced, Mah doesn’t feel the need to make himself heard at the upcoming public hearings. He is confident that given the large numbers of those intending to speak, his views will be adequately represented. “I feel there are people who agree with me and will very much say what I would say,” he said.
On the Vancouver Observer Facebook page, a lively conversation has taken over the last few weeks about the proposed casino expansion at B.C. Place.