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

Community invited to help with Downtown Surrey BIA’s fence art project

Association is hoping to change the ‘narrative’ for 135A Street with artwork

‘Kim’s Convenience’ keeps Surrey actor busy when not working as church pastor in Guildford

Award-nominated James Yi will again play shop owner at Surrey Arts Centre next winter

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in South Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Hazmat team called to Surrey recycling centre

Witness at scene said several workers reported affects including coughing, headaches and chest tightness

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Langley organizers invite special guest to Gone Country

Cancer fundraising, day-long concert sold out more than a month and a half ahead of Saturday’s event

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes near Agassiz

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read