River Rock Casino Resort

Coordinates: 49°11′47″N 123°07′41″W / 49.196257°N 123.128141°W / 49.196257; -123.128141
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River Rock Casino Resort
Address 8811 River Road
Richmond, British Columbia
V6X 3P8
Opening dateJune 25, 2004
ThemeWest Coast rainforest
No. of rooms396
Total gaming space70,000 sq ft (6,500 m2)
Permanent showsNone
Signature attractionsRiver Rock Show Theatre
Casino typeLand-Based
OwnerGreat Canadian Entertainment
ArchitectDA Architects + Planners
Previous namesNone
Renovated in2009
River Rock Casino's west entrance

River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, British Columbia is the largest casino in the province of British Columbia.[1] The casino is owned by Great Canadian Entertainment. The hotel has a total of 396 rooms, including standard rooms and suites and it is situated on the river with a 144-berth marina.

The casino has 10,000 visitors per day on average and generated an annual revenue of $244 million as of August 2006.[2]


The casino was built on the site of the former Bridgepoint Market in Richmond. It first opened to the public on June 25, 2004. Several variances were needed from the City of Richmond to allow it to open with service that customers expect. This included a modification of its liquor licence and operating licence to allow liquor to be consumed in the casino's theatre.[3]

It hosted the British Columbia Poker Championships in November 2005, 2006 and 2007. The premier event of the Johnny Chan Poker Championship was also held in 2007.

The 2006 Gemini Awards were presented at the River Rock Casino Resort, marking the ceremony's West Coast debut; the event is normally held in Toronto.[4][5]

The grand atrium of the resort also contains the first spiral escalators to ever be installed in Canada.


The casino is served by Bridgeport Station on the Canada Line SkyTrain, located across from the casino.

Bus service, operated by TransLink, is provided via bus routes within walking distance of the casino.

The casino is located about five minutes from Vancouver International Airport, on Richmond's Sea Island. It is also near Highway 99, the main highway connecting Vancouver to the southern suburbs.

The casino also plans to build a 1,200-parking space complex for casino patrons and for park-and-ride transit use.[6] The 1,200 stall parkade will cost $33 million to build. TransLink (the Canada Line Operator) will give the Great Canadian Casino Corporation land worth $9.5 million, and $4.5 million in cash in return for building the park-and-ride facility. Transit users will be charged $2.50 to use the facility.[7]

River Rock Casino and the film industry[edit]

Because the Vancouver area has a big film industry, River Rock has played host to various productions looking for casino filming locations. While this is generally well received, there have been some unfortunate incidents. On 8 November 2006, three photographers made their way onto a closed section of the hotel's balcony intending to photograph actress Denise Richards during filming of the movie Blonde and Blonder. In an ensuing argument, she allegedly threw a laptop computer belonging to one photographer off the balcony, striking the arm of an elderly lady in a wheelchair. [8] [9]

The casino was also prominently featured in the Psych episode entitled "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Piece."

Loan sharking controversy[edit]

A report released by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation showed that out of 56 incidents of a casino patron in British Columbia being barred from gambling for suspected loan sharking activity, 34 of those incidents took place at River Rock.[10][11] Controversy within Richmond was further stirred when the RCMP admitted it could do little to stop loan sharking unless a victim came forward, yet it was the suspected motive for a variety of kidnappings, extortions, threats and violence.[12] The most prominent case occurred when Rong Lilly Li, a suspected loan shark, disappeared after last being seen getting into a van outside the casino on 26 May 2006. Her body was finally recovered on the weekend of 9–10 September 2006.[13]

A June 2016 audit found that the casino knowingly allowed high rollers to buy chips with funds from lenders with anti-money laundering restrictions who were being investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.[14][15]

Concerts and pageants[edit]

Miss Chinese (Vancouver) Pageant have been hosted at the casino venue in 2009 and has been used as venue for Cantopop stars from Hong Kong for their North American tours.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BUSINESS - Court Suspends Golf Course Sale". Archived from the original on 2006-06-22. Retrieved 2006-06-12.
  2. ^ "News Error | myTELUS". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-08-24.
  3. ^ "canada.com". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2006-06-12.
  4. ^ CKNW News Talk 980 – CKNWAM Archived 2007-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "canada.com". Archived from the original on 2006-05-13. Retrieved 2006-06-12.
  6. ^ "Richmond News - Canada Line drives massive development - May 08, 2007". Archived from the original on September 26, 2007.
  7. ^ "Richmond News - Casino gets 'sweet deal' from TransLink - December 2006". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-06-15.
  8. ^ "Laptops thrown by actress hit seniors: police". CBC News. 9 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
  9. ^ "No charges against actress Richards, RCMP say". CBC News. 10 November 2006. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
  10. ^ "Crime at River Rock". CKNW. 16 August 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
  11. ^ Skelton, Chad (16 August 2006). "Richmond sees rash of casino-related crime". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
  12. ^ Bennett, Nelson (18 August 2006). "Clapham cracks down on loan sharks". Richmond News. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
  13. ^ Edmonds, Eve (29 September 2006). "Murder victim last seen at casino". Richmond News. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
  14. ^ Cooper, Sam (October 16, 2017). "B.C. casinos knowingly accepted banned cash: confidential report". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on November 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Obiko Pearson, Natalie; Sambo, Paula (April 29, 2019). "Vancouver's Once Rollicking Casinos Hit by Dirty Money Crackdown". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on August 18, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2019.

External links[edit]

49°11′47″N 123°07′41″W / 49.196257°N 123.128141°W / 49.196257; -123.128141