Parq Vancouver reports losses of $108M so far in 2018
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2018 7:07PM PST
The new Parq Vancouver hotel and casino complex in downtown Vancouver appears to be having a run of bad luck -- losing some $108 million so far in 2018.
The CEO of one of its parent companies, Dundee Corporation, has blamed British Columbia’s new anti-money laundering rules for standing in the way of money coming in the door from high-rollers with legitimate cash.
“At Parq Vancouver, the ramp up of operations proceeded at a slower than anticipated pace, and continued to be exacerbated by the recent implementation of anti-money laundering initatives which are having an adverse impact on the gaming industry in British Columbia,” said Jonathan Goodman in August.
Those rules were what kept rapper Drake from being able to buy in with large amounts of cash earlier in November; Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, complained on Instagram that he had been “profiled.”
In November, Goodman didn’t reference the new rules, and said that while the losses continue, he has confidence that the “urban resort” can turn itself around.
“Its financial performance has been disappointing,” Goodman told investors. “It’s very frustrating but we are actively seeking solutions,” he said.
Documents say after a promising 2017, where Parq made $28.3 million, the company has now lost $108.3 million in the first nine months of 2018. Of that, $17.7 million is an operating loss.
A government report earlier this year concluded that B.C. casinos had unwittingly become laundromats for organized crime, claiming more than $100 million in dirty cash had entered the province's economy through poor controls.
In response, the government demanded explanations for the origin of any cash buy-ins of $10,000 or more.
Other casinos have also complained that the new rules have resulted in a loss of revenue. But a spokesperson for a casino association told CTV News that the organization isn’t interested in changing those rules.
The provincial government and local governments get a cut of casino revenues, with the City of Vancouver earning some $9.5 million a year from the Edgewater Casino, documents say.
With casino losses, those revenues could be in jeopardy, said Vancouver Coun. Melissa De Genova.
“I do think the city of Vancouver needs to look at that,” she said. “Are we dependent on this revenue?”
BCLC has recently approved a new casino in Delta. A Delta city councillor who voted against the casino told CTV News that she’s worried patrons are gambling online rather than in bricks and mortar venues.
Jeannie Kavakos said she’s concerned promised money won’t materialize.
“It’s a troubling question. And I think that many who supported the casino supported it primarily on that basis,” she said.