Surrey says no to casino proposal

Surrey’s gaming policy requires casinos be a component of a “cluster of facilities” such as a hotel with convention and meeting facilities

Surrey council won't be entertaining a British Columbia Lottery Corporation proposal because it doesn't fit within their policies.

SURREY — Surrey city council has said no to a British Columbia Lottery Corporation proposal because it didn’t fit within the city’s gaming policy.

BCLC sent out a Request for Expression of Interest to local governments seeking support for a new gambling facility south of the Fraser River. The proposed facility is for a community gaming centre with slot machines and gaming tables.

But Surrey’s gaming policy, established in 2001, states that in order for a casino application to be considered it must also be a component of a “cluster of facilities” such as a hotel with convention and meeting facilities.

“It must be an entertainment complex if it appears in our city,” said Mayor Linda Hepner at council Monday night.

Councillor Bruce Hayne agreed.

“If we are looking at entertaining the idea of another gaming facility, it would have to be destination gaming facility,” he said. “The Request for Expressions of Interest from BCLC are for a community gaming centre and in my opinion, a community gaming centre sees money going out of the community where a destination-type facility with restaurants and other amenities would see a net flow of capital into the city.”

It was a markedly shorter conversation than the last time the casino question arose in Surrey.

In late 2012 and early 2013, a hot topic in the city was a controversial casino and entertainment complex planned for South Surrey.

Proposed by Gateway Casinos, the $100-million development would have been located on a 25-acre property at 168th Street and 10th Avenue and featured a 190-room hotel, a 60,000 square-foot gaming floor and a 27,000 square-foot convention centre. The project would have also netted the City of Surrey about $3 million annually in gaming revenue, but after a massive public outcry over the proposal and a divisive public hearing session that totalled more than 13 hours, was narrowly defeated by council in a late-night five-to-four vote.

The Newton neighbourhood has a particularly controversial history with slot machines: in 1998, Surrey city council ran the Great Canadian Casino Company out of town after BCLC installed 191 slot machines in a charity gaming hall in Newton.

The slots were added after the NDP government introduced expanded gambling in B.C., allowing slots in charity casinos. Then-mayor Doug McCallum and his Surrey Electors Team – which current mayor Dianne Watts was a member of at the time – put city staff to work to shut down the slots.

On Jan. 9, 1998, city planner Lehman Walker presented a report to council, saying that the addition of slots would draw more gamblers to Newton and cause more problems in the area. He proposed council outlaw slots from Surrey, which they did the following month.

With files from Jacob Zinn

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Clayton’s little neighbourhood libraries are open for business

’Take a book, leave a book’ initiative aims to bring Clayton residents closer together

Surrey RCMP request assistance from public after man stabbed

20-year-old man suffered serious but not-life-threatening injuries.

Man surrenders peacefully to police after 7-hour standoff at Ladner home

Man had entered the home against his court-ordered conditions

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Plane flips over at Pitt Meadows airport

Runway closed for an undermined length of time.

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

UPDATE: Rescue crews for 2 hikers caught up in possible avalanche on Mount Seymour

North Vancouver RCMP say they don’t know what the nature of the call is yet

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Most Read