Drake Accuses Parq Vancouver Casino of Racial Profiling
Canadian rapper, record producer, and actor Drake accused the Parq Vancouver Casino of racism on social media this weekend. Drake said in an early morning Instagram post that Parq Vancouver was the “worst run business I have ever witnessed…[the casino was] profiling me and not allowing me to gamble when I had everything they originally asked me for.”
Parq Vancouver Casino apologized for Drake’s experience at their casino and said it did not profile customers, but instead dealt with a highly regulated market which requires time-consuming background checks for new customers. The casino’s press release said British Columbia laws “required [them] to adhere to strict regulations with respect to gaming”.
Later that day, Parq Casino released a second, more categorical statement on the charges. The casino said it tried to contact Drake to resolve any issues he might have had, then added it “categorically stand[s] against racism of any kind”.
Narinder Nagra, Parq Vancouver Casino’s Director of Resort Marketing, issued a statement on Drake’s accusations. Nagra said, “Parq Vancouver is sorry to hear about this experience and takes these matters very seriously. We are required to adhere to strict regulations with respect to gaming in British Columbia. We are actively investigating this matter and have made several efforts to reach out to the customer and his team to discuss the issue. We are committed to having a productive conversation to resolve this issue.
Drake Profile: Canadian Actor and Rapper
Drake became a household name in Canada during his run (2000-2007) on DeGrassi: The Next Generation. He wanted to become a rapper instead of an actor and left the show in stages between 2005 and 2007. His three mixtapes from 2007 to 2009 created buzz and he was the first Canadian performer to have a video on BET without being signed by a label.
By 2009, music labels engaged in a bidding war for Drake’s services. Drake’s biggest hits in the years since have been “One Dance” featuring WizKid & Kyla in 2016 (10 weeks at No. 1), “Work” by Rihanna featuring Drake in 2016, (9 weeks at No. 1), “Hotline Bling“ in 2015 (No. 2), “What’s My Name?” by Rihanna featuring Drake in 2010 (one week at No. 1), and “Best I Ever Had” in 2009 (No. 2).
On the Billboard 100, he’s had six No. 1 hits and thirty-two Top 10 hits. On the UK charts, he’s had sixteen Top 10 singles have been on the Top 10 a total of 118 weeks.
About Parq Vancouver Casino
Parq Vancouver Casino has a 600 slot machines and 75 table games located in 72,000 square foot gaming space. The gaming tables include 3 Card Poker, Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Sic Bo, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. A racebook and poker room also exist on site.
The resort complex includes two hotels — JW Marriott and The Douglas (an Autograph Collection hotel). It has 7 separate restaurants and 1 bar. In addiction, the complex has 62,000 square feet of event space.
As readers might have noticed, Asian-friendly table games like baccarat and Sic Bo are featured at the Parq Vancouver Casino. Like a number of casinos in British Columbia, Parq Vancouver Casino caters to Asian high rollers. Many Chinese gamblers love to play in BC casinos, seemingly because the casinos do not hassle them. It makes charges of racism less likely, though a casino might want Asian gamblers and not African-American or African-Canadian customers.
Parq Casino Ownership
Parq Vancouver Casino is jointly owned by Dundee Corporation, PBC Group, and Paragon Gaming. Dundee Corporation is a holding company founded by Ned Goodman, a Toronto-based billionaire. Dundee focuses on the real estate, wealth management, and resource management sectors.
PBC Group is an Ottawa-based real estate investment, asset management, and development management company. Founded in 1956 by Peris Bouzanis, PBC has been in the Canadian construction industry for more than 50 years. In 1985, Paul Bouzanis (son of Peris Bouzanis) took over management of the company from his father. PBC Group says it has overseen hundreds of projects in the “institutional, hospitality, retail, and land development” industries, building 30-year old relationships based on “professionalism, honesty, and transparency.”
About Paragon Gaming
Paragon Gaming is a gaming company based in Enterprise, Nevada. The firm was started by Diana Bennett and Scott Menke in 2000 and has expanded operations steadily in the 18 years since. Paragon Gaming owns a number of gaming resorts in the United States and Canada, including the WestGate Las Vegas (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton), the Hooters Casino Hotel adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip, and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe.
In 2014, Paragon began construction on the Parq Vancouver Casino. The resort, located near the BC Place stadium, was designed to replace the Edgewater Casino. The $600-million hotel and casino complex opened in 2017.
At the Parq Casino grand opening, Scott Menke said, “This entertainment district, or the stadium district, as we know it will be changed. Customers coming for any one of the three sports teams, entertainment, and meetings will have an elevated experience.”
Drake’s Charges Against The Madison Club
This is not the first time Drake has leveled charges of racial profiling on an establishment. In April, he accused The Madison Club in Coachella, California of “picking and choosing” which races are allowed through the front door. At the time, he called The Madison Club “the most offensive place I have ever stayed at in my life.”