In late October of 2009, myself and many other people from various different social service agencies came forward at city hall to voice our approval for slots in Surrey.
Although I faced a difficult challenge with slots, looking at the bigger picture of those in need came before my own personal views.
Boardwalk Gaming presented a beautiful picture of how the strip mall around Newton Bingo Country was going to look, and how safety would be in place with a community placing station.
The meeting lasted until after 1 a.m. with Boardwalk receiving permission for slots. One of the speakers, a Lions Club member from North Surrey, and a resident of Newton, spoke about how impressed he was to see this great improvement taking place.
It is now almost two years since the approval and what is and has taken place to date is not what I or anyone else at that meeting voted for.
In June of this year, the non-smoking area of the old dilapidated building was slightly improved to make room for slots. This room had been used by non-smokers to play bingo. They were moved to the old, dirty, smelly room that used to be smokers.
In fact, it could still be called smokers because the air is musty, there is no proper air conditioning, the carpets are old and smelly, the washrooms need upgrading, the kitchen facilities need to be viewed by the Fraser Health Authority, and the city bylaws department needs to get over there and deal with smokers going out the fire exit door to smoke, and others sitting right by the front entrance smoking their cigarettes.
It is now very clear this was a business deal once approved, sold to someone else. This is not what I want to see and I would like to encourage every resident of Surrey to call and write about their concerns with this project before it is too late. Call and write the city or go have a look at Newton Bingo and decide if this is what you want in your neighbourhood. I can say for sure, I would not want this project in my neighbourhood.