Edmonton is saying “Au revoir” to the venerable Baccarat Casino and ushering in construction on a bigger, better casino, just across the street.
Edmonton’s Baccarat Casino is set to be torn down and relocated as part of an effort to revitalize the downtown Edmonton area. The Baccarat Casino had a poor reputation, and the city council, for one, is glad to see it go. The Baccarat Casino was often mocked by Edmonton residents as one of the “ugliest buildings” in the city, and gamblers across the country were relieved by news of the impending move. A cramped, one-storey building, the Baccarat Casino was just too small for the ambitions of its players.
The new building is already in the early stages of construction, and it has a new name, too: the Grand Villa. Construction on the new home of gambling in Edmonton begins in earnest starting in late 2015.
Both the old Baccarat Casino and the new Grand Villa are owned and operated by Gateway Casinos. Although it will be just next door to the old building, Gateway Casinos CEO Tony Santo says the new Grand Villa will be “worlds away” from the Baccarat Casino, which only had one snack bar and limited parking. The Grand Villa will be “a place where people can go, have a good time, be entertained and if you want to gamble, you can do that, too,” said Santo at a news conference announcing the move.
The Grand Villa will be a $32-million, 60,000-square-foot gamblers’ paradise right in the middle of downtown Edmonton. But the Grand Villa promises to be much more than just a casino. There will be large entertainment spaces, several fine restaurants and, of course, plenty of tables offering all flavors of baccarat, poker and blackjack.