LETTERS: Deltans weigh in on proposed Casino

Readers react to the recent news that the BCLC has chosen Delta as the site for a new gaming facility in the South of Fraser region.

Corporation of Delta staff identified the Delta Town & Country Inn at the intersection of Hwy. 99 and Hwy. 17A as the only appropriate site for a new gaming facility and entertainment complex

(See original story “Delta chosen as home for the South of Fraser region’s new casino” here)

A CBC report by Karin Larsen (“Potential Delta casino site identified: city council votes to move forward with proposal,” June 29) stated BCLC won’t release the HLT advisory market analysis report and that BCLC states the gambling markets are mature.

Delta municipality and citizens should have access to this report before any decision or public process is engaged on the possible casino. Manitoba released the HLT advisory report for its gambling assessment potential. You can google this report and there is no proprietary info in it. Have a look at it.

BCLC is not transparent (by withholding this report) and is only interested in its bottom line of revenue expansion, regardless of the faltering saturated market and public social detrimental impact.

I enjoyed the Sep. 15 letter to the editor (“Do Deltans really want a casino?” by Chris Stanton). In that letter he stated that suddenly BCLC decided to push more casino options out there and then Delta decided it needed one. There are enough gambling options everywhere and the gambling marketing is on every media format. We do not need any more casinos.

Don’t forget, along with the social costs comes crime. The finance minster hired more investigators for money laundering. Youth need other options rather than growing up in a community expecting to hang out at a casino eventually. A casino is forever once built.

I hope Delta has a rethink on this and sticks to the location presented, and/or realizes a casino is not a requirement for Delta.

Shannon Vancouver, via email

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It’s unfortunate that the BC Lottery Corporation has chosen Delta as its preferred location for a new casino south of the Fraser River.

What’s worse is that Delta council voted unanimously to submit a

‘non-binding’ expression of interest in a gambling facility – ‘gaming facility’ is a very deceptive term – in Delta.

How will gambling make things better for people in Delta? How will gambling strengthen the social fabric, build community and enhance people’s quality of life?

I challenge everyone, and especially the Delta mayor and councillors, to answer this question in terms of the social costs of gambling – which are real.

And I further challenge all elected representative to gauge it in terms of its social benefit and its long-lasting, hard-to-rectify social costs. It’s time to have a very, very necessary public debate about the real reasons behind council’s decision, which I suspect have more to do with revenue extraction and less to do with supporting the common good.

Respectfully,

Paul Steer, via email