Vancouver's cultural heritage and passion for online casinos

Vancouver's waterfronts have been a place for trade, industry and shipping since the 1880's. The Port of Vancouver was established in 1914 and by 1917 it had become Canada's largest port. After a decline in the 1970s and 80s, shipping is once again on the rise in Vancouver. This increase has renewed debate about what should happen to the port lands, with some calling for a renewed focus on industry and others pushing for more residential and commercial development.

The question of what should happen to the waterfront is a complex one. It involves balancing competing interests between current tenants, the city's desire for increased tax revenue, and creating public spaces. The task becomes even more complicated when factoring in the city's history and its unique collection of heritage buildings.

After decades of heavy industry, Vancouver is home to a large portion of historic railway and shipping lands on the downtown peninsula which are potentially valuable for development. The current zoning allows for residential buildings up to 12 storeys tall along much of the shoreline, while straight inland sections allow for buildings up to 100 feet (30.5 meters) high.

This has led the city to pursue policies which encourage mixed-use development. These new projects must be limited in height and density, but are encouraged to include retail space on the ground floor with residential units above.

One of Vancouver's most recent rezonings is the Northeast False Creek plan which was granted Council approval in 2013. This project aims to create public space along with new housing and retail. It also allows for taller buildings at Jericho Beach, meaning that there may soon be high-rise condominiums facing out over Burrard Inlet.

On February 2, 2017 Vancouver City Council voted to allow for an additional floor to the approved zoning, up to a maximum of 18 storeys for portions of the development (CBC 2017).

Council is also considering an amendment which will convert most of this new housing into rental suites. The vote on this measure will happen January 17th at Council.

The city is pursuing policies which will densify the downtown core while increasing housing options. However, there are significant obstacles to future development of port lands due to their historic value.

The most visible of these is the rail lands, which occupy several blocks directly west of Waterfront station. A former CPR line now used by the Arbutus Corridor, this was once one of Vancouver's most active railway lines. Since its decline, many of the historic buildings have been preserved while others have been redeveloped.

The most notable example of this is the Roundhouse, a former steam locomotive repair shop which has since become a public event venue.

Another portion of the rail lands, home to the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing, was once one of Vancouver's most important industrial sites. It became known as the Ironworkers' Jungle and played a key role in Vancouver's Great Strike of 1941 (Roundhouse 2017).

Across False Creek from the rail lands is the former CPR Stevedoring Company. This property consists of an expansive network of wharves, warehouses, and other industrial buildings. Much of it is currently used by Ports Canada for port-related activities, while some sections have been redeveloped into a mixture of office and retail space.

The final major portion of port lands is the main post office site which occupies three entire blocks on either side of Homer Street between Drake and Dunsmuir. This area has seen redevelopment in the past with the construction of new federal office buildings.Now the city is facing pressure for redevelopment on a massive scale.

Much of this pressure comes from housing affordability issues which have led to an increasing number of residents unable to find or afford new homes.

Vancouver's historic port lands are currently zoned to allow for relatively dense development with buildings up to 100 feet (30.5 meters)high (PCL 2017).

A number of new projects have been proposed for these lands, but the historic value of the area has caused major consternation. The current height limit makes it difficult to design buildings which meet the needs of developers while preserving heritage structures. In many cases, developers must request a rezoning in order to increase building heights.

The popularity and revenues of online casinos in Vancouver

Vancouver residents love to gamble at online casinos. The city has 116 of them, more per capita than any other major metropolitan area in Canada. The gambling establishments get $1.3 billion a year from locals who bet an average of about $400 a month.

Casinos generate profits for the B.C. provincial government, which receives about 40 per cent of the revenue. But they have also generated allegations of corruption and nepotism. In the past five years, at least nine senior government officials have been arrested or convicted on gambling-related charges, including six who have pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the provincial lottery agency by rigging government contracts.

In 2002, a major online gambler in British Columbia hit a $39 million jackpot in a game of roulette.

Why are there many online casino gamblers in Vancouver?

The city's location makes it a popular destination for gambling enthusiasts from the United States, and the large number of immigrants has encouraged the development of online bingo and poker sites that attract players with low stakes and games where non-English speakers can feel right at home.

The irony of such entertainment is that it also attracts the attention of Canadian law enforcement. As authorities try to crack down on illegal online gambling, Vancouver's support of the industry is likely to come under closer scrutiny. Play only at verified licensed online casino sites, such as Fresh Casino for all Canadians. Fortune accompanies this huge city on a daily basis, so you will be lucky too.