In Canada, a six-year-old rental dispute between casino operator Vanshaw Enterprises Limited and landlord Mayfield Investments Limited reportedly came to a head on Monday with the doors to Casino By Vanshaw in the city of Medicine Hat being locked.

According to a report from the Medicine Hat News newspaper, the Alberta casino is located inside the four-star Medicine Hat Lodge Hotel and agreed an amendment to its lease in 2010 that gave Mayfield Investments Limited control over an interior lounge in exchange for agreeing to forgive a debt of around $100,000 although it consented to paying 20% of any profits from the area to its tenant.

However, this space was reportedly considered as part of the original lease Vanshaw Enterprises Limited had earlier signed with Mayfield Investments Limited, which called for Casino By Vanshaw to pay its landlord annual rent of about $732,000 via monthly installments of approximately $61,000. The casino operator felt that its ensuing rental fee should be pro-rated to take into account the revised lease but the property owner disagreed and the pair ended up in court.

In October, a superior court judge in Calgary agreed with Mayfield Investments Limited but called on the pair to work out an agreement to permanently settle the matter and advised the landlord not to inflict penalties on Vanshaw Enterprises Limited as this could place the casino in jeopardy and financially harm its own business.

“The determining factor is what the lease says,” Court Of Queen’s Bench Justice AR Robertson ruled. “I assume that both parties will act in their self-interests and find a compromise that pays the past rent while leaving the casino functional as a business entity.”

With no resolution forthcoming, the landlord reportedly terminated the its lease with Vanshaw Enterprises Limited on Monday citing “lack of rent” and locked the doors to the Medicine Hat casino.

“We are working diligently to ensure that the casino closure is temporary and will only last a couple of days,” read a sign from Mayfield Investments Limited placed on the doors to Casino By Vanshaw.

But, this placard was reportedly removed the very next day with Kevin Van Der Kooy, President for Vanshaw Enterprises Limited, taking to Facebook yesterday to declare that the venue would re-open on Wednesday while the operator seeks a new location to host its casino.

“Casino By Vanshaw supports 182 non-profit groups as well as 80 families through employment,” read the statement from Van Der Kooy. “We believe that Medicine Hat Lodge Hotel has broken the law by locking us out and we will pursue further remedies. We are also taking steps to move our facility to a more community supportive location. It is my intention to continue to serve our local groups with casino fundraising opportunities for many years to come. I would like to thank all involved for their patience and support. We have been serving the community for 24 yrs. and will continue to do the same for at least another 24 years.”

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