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Doc
Doc
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April 17th, 2013 at 6:16:00 AM permalink
Category: Canada
City: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Casino: Niagara Fallsview


The Niagara Fallsview Casino is the "permanent" casino in town, the one that was supposed to replace the "temporary" Casino Niagara. It opened in June 2004, and my wife and I visited there in August of that year, as part of our return trip from Quebec City. There is a hotel in the complex, and if you paid the tarrif for a room on the falls side, particularly the higher floors, then the view should be outstanding. We stayed at a cheaper establishment just down the street.

Their promotional materials say that they have over 3,000 gaming machines ranging from 1¢ to $100 and over 100 tables. I don't know whether that includes their poker room. It's not a small place at all, and they claim that it is "one of the largest Casino gaming floors in the world -- an impressive 200,000 square feet -- the equivalent of three football fields!" I wonder whether that means fields used for American football, Canadian football, or that international game of football that some of us call soccer. Big, anyway, with a pretty nice shopping mall right outside.

I remember that I played craps and that the table minimum was $10 CAD. I didn't record the result of the session, but I do remember that I won. I can remember that because I used the "found money" to buy us dinner and tickets to a Melissa Manchester concert that night in their 1500-seat showroom. We had pondered that possibility when we first saw the billboard, but I found it more palatable to pay with "the casino's money" than my own. We had really enjoyed Melissa's music in the '70s and '80s, but she pretty much dropped out of the business in the '90s to raise a family. She had released a CD in the spring of 2004 and made that stop in Niagara Falls as part of a promotional tour for the CD. Still sounded great, but I never heard much more from her.

Until the night before last, I was completely unaware that this white plastic injection molded chip had the names of two different casinos on its two sides. I have had the Niagara Fallsview side facing up on display ever since I brought it home, and I don't know that I even looked at the other side. I am posting both sides here, but I'll also go back and add the image of the side that says Casino Niagara to the post that covered that casino. The MOGH catalog includes this chip on their page for Niagara Fallsview Casino but not on the page for the Casino Niagara.

In the first image below, I recognize that the female profile has long hair that suggests the waterfall and pool, but I don't really know what else might be symbolized.

That MOGH catalog does not indicate a manufacturer for this chip, and at first I thought I could only answer that issue by comparison. I noticed that the edge insert pattern for this chip is identical to the chip I posted for the Rainbow Casino in Vicksburg, MS, and the center inlay for that chip had a BG logo on the front of it. I was just going to speculate/conclude that this Niagara Fallsview Casino (and Casino Niagara) chip was also manufactured by Bourgogne et Grasset (B&G). Then I looked closer at the Casino Niagara side that I had been ignoring these past nine years and saw that it, too, has the BG logo, drifting over the left hand side of the falls.



I don't have any travel photo to offer today. Perhaps I should have saved my shot of the Horseshoe Falls until today, since the Fallsview casino is much closer to the falls than the "temporary" casino is. I have lots of other shots of the falls, of course, but none that add a whole lot.
Doc
Doc
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April 18th, 2013 at 6:18:23 AM permalink
Category: Canada
City: Richmond, British Columbia
Casino: River Rock


I am a bit surprised by rdw4potus not posting yesterday. He was the one who pointed out to me on 4/15 that the Fallsview Casino chip has the Casino Niagara name on the opposite side, so I was expecting to see an image of the other side of his $5 chip. He only showed the Casino Niagara side in his post on 4/12. Maybe he's still working on his tax return. ;-)


Canada has a moderate number of casinos in operation, but I have only been to a very small subset. Today's chip from the River Rock in Richmond, BC, just south of Vancouver, is the eighth and last Canadian chip currently in my collection. I really need to get back up there soon, but I don't know that I can convince my wife to make that trip this summer. We already have other trips planned for May and July.

The city of Richmond, BC is located on several islands formed as the delta of the Fraser River, which empties into the Strait of Georgia. These delta islands have an average land height of one meter, placing them at risk of flooding at high tides and high spring water flows in the river. There are a number of dikes that protect the stability of the land on these islands.

The largest and most populated of the islands is known as Lulu Island, and a branch of the Fraser River flows on the north side of that island. I have not been able to determine whether that branch has a name of its own, but the River Rock Casino Resort is located right on the waterfront of that river branch. The casino opened in June 2004 on the site of a former market, just a short distance from the Oak Street Bridge connecting Richmond to Vancouver.

On the casino's web site page describing the table games, they say this about my favorite of their games: "There is no skill in shooting Craps, it is purely a game of chance." I can't argue with that, but I wonder how that sentiment would go over in thirty or forty of the recent threads on this WoV site.

The Wikipedia page describing the resort has several comments about transportation there and says, "Bus service, operated by TransLink, is provided via bus routes within walking distance of the casino."

Unfortunately, my wife and I took a more circuitous route there in 2008. We rode a city bus from our hotel in downtown Vancouver to Richmond, but the bus took a route not over the Oak Street Bridge but via the Grant-McConachie Way bridge to Sea Island and the airport, then cutting back to Lulu Island. We got off the bus at the first convenient stop on the correct island and hiked our butts through an industrial district to the casino complex. We had fun once there, but we took a taxi back to our hotel rather than trying to decipher the return bus schedule and route. I played craps, but I don't seem to have recorded my session results.

The River Rock chip shown below is described in the MOGH catalog as coming from Bud Jones. However, it appears to be the exact same Matsui design and colors as the Edgewater chip I posted two days ago, except for the center inlay and the addition of what Matsui calls an optional "glitter ring." They offer five glitter colors, four dot patterns, and several locations where the glitter may appear on the chip. They also offer holograms on the center inlays.

I am not sure what that logo on the center inlay is supposed to be. I can interpret it as a sketch of a tree or a stylized spade pip or even an inverted valentine heart. I didn't see it on the casino's web site, but it is on most of their chips shown in the MOGH catalog. Once again, UV light reveals a logo of TCS John Huxley, which I assume was the distributor/re-seller of the Matsui chips. That still strikes me as a little strange.



Tomorrow, this thread must move on to another geographic category, and I don't have any travel photos of the River Rock Casino or anything in Richmond, BC to post. I'll just leave you with a little photo of the Vancouver skyline along the harbor, looking back from Stanley Park.



Edit 5/28/20: Member RideTheEdge posted some additional images of Canadian casino chips here.
Last edited by: Doc on May 28, 2020
kenarman
kenarman
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April 18th, 2013 at 8:07:55 AM permalink
Earlier this week Doc made a comment about 350 miles being a long ways to be from my home casino during discussions about the Edgewater casino. Although still 350 miles away the River Rock is likely my 'home' casino if I truly have one. I stay and visit it more often than any other casino. When it opened and gave me access to craps and a nice resort environment it was when my frequency of trips to Vegas went down drastically.

You would have a lot easier time with transit at the casino now Doc. The 'Canada Line' rapid transit expansion built for the 2010 Olympics runs from downtown to the airport. The last stop before the airport is attached to the resort. This stop is also a major bus loop including express buses to the extensive BC ferry system terminal.

For the craps players the RR is one of 4 casinos in BC that each have 1 craps table. All 4 of these casinos are in Vancouver suburbs.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.
kenarman
kenarman
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April 18th, 2013 at 2:09:11 PM permalink
Although there hasn't been a lot of other posts about the River Rock I am going to add some history about the casino's owner Great Canadian Casino because it is a relatively recent success story. The owners started in 1982 doing temporary charity casinos in BC. They toured the province to various festival type events putting on the casinos. I played at several of them in the early years and at first the partners would be dealing tables at the events themselves and hire temporary employees and have charity volunteers in each location. Table limits were originally $2 MAXIMUM. From this start as the provincial rules were slowly relaxed they were able to transition to permanent "casinos". These were more like California card rooms but much smaller and slots were not yet legal. They would have blackjack and maybe 1 roulette wheel, a few had another table game or two. During this time there was no craps since all dice games were specifically forbidden Canada wide by federal law, a left over from the old days of back alley craps.

They ran several of these "casinos" around BC until the change they were waiting for in the provincial regulations occurred and the Province legalized slots. This allowed them to slowly transition from these small card room to casinos in much larger facilities with more games and of course slots. As a side note provincial legislation still allows a maximum of 1000 slot machines in any casino in BC. It was about this time too that the most significant change occurred in casino law in Canada, from my point of view anyway :-), craps became legal in Canada.

The original parners eventually split with one partner taking the casinos in the Okanagan Valley in the interior of BC and forming Lake City Casino's. The second partner kept the remaining properties and has now expanded too properties from coast to coast in Canada (Including some that Doc visited in Nova Scotia), owns some card room casinos in Washington state, several racinos, and has bingo halls that have slots but no table games which are different class of license in BC.

I hope I haven`t bored everyone too much with this history lesson but it does illustrate how young the casino business is in Canada and that the major company in Canada was started by entrepeneurs with little funding and just made it happen. The company is now publicly traded and no longer a single persons vision.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.
Doc
Doc
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April 18th, 2013 at 2:19:35 PM permalink
Quote: kenarman

I hope I haven`t bored everyone too much ....


No, of course not. That's my job. ;-)

It's nice to have someone "local" who knows and posts the background info rather than just having me try to dig up some stuff on the web or from my own faded memories. Thanks for your contributions to this thread. Just wish I had more chips from BC that I could use to set up your contributions a few more times.

And thanks for the info on the updated transportation system. There are other casinos in the Vancouver area that I would like to collect chips from. I just don't know when/whether we will get back there, and I don't know enough about getting around the area and to the casinos.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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April 18th, 2013 at 2:30:32 PM permalink
Thanks Kenarman! I enjoyed that. I wonder how the "early" days were bankrolled? Did they use cheques at the charity events?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
kenarman
kenarman
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April 18th, 2013 at 2:43:39 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

Thanks Kenarman! I enjoyed that. I wonder how the "early" days were bankrolled? Did they use cheques at the charity events?



They did use cheques in the early days and if I had the vision the original partners had I would have kept a few.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.
kenarman
kenarman
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April 18th, 2013 at 2:48:51 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

No, of course not. That's my job. ;-)

It's nice to have someone "local" who knows and posts the background info rather than just having me try to dig up some stuff on the web or from my own faded memories. Thanks for your contributions to this thread. Just wish I had more chips from BC that I could use to set up your contributions a few more times.

And thanks for the info on the updated transportation system. There are other casinos in the Vancouver area that I would like to collect chips from. I just don't know when/whether we will get back there, and I don't know enough about getting around the area and to the casinos.



The rapid transit system would only get you within a 15 minute walk of the other casinos and one of the racinos. Two of the other main casinos do run shuttles from a local rapid transit station (known as Sky Train) although it was almost all originally elevevated it now has elevated, grade and below grade sections.

If the stars were to align properly you might be able to talk me into a guided tour to get your bearings in greater Vancouver.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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April 18th, 2013 at 2:58:06 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

Category: Canada
City: Richmond, British Columbia
Casino: River Rock


I am not sure what that logo on the center inlay is supposed to be. I can interpret it as a sketch of a tree or a stylized spade pip or even an inverted valentine heart. I didn't see it on the casino's web site, but it is on most of their chips shown in the MOGH catalog.



I guess that begs the question... What is a "spade" symbol supposed to represent? Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs (sorta) are apparent, but is a spade supposed to be a shovel? Or is the shovel named after the symbol?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
kenarman
kenarman
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April 18th, 2013 at 3:16:47 PM permalink
My guess is that the logo is a stylized `spade`and a remnant of the early years as card rooms. I notice the logo is featured prominently on the signage of the Washington state card rooms.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.

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