Delta council considering possible casino in Ladner

BCLC, looking to open a new gaming facility south of the Fraser River, eyes
Delta, Surrey or Tsawwassen First Nation as possible host city.

Staff at the Corporation of Delta identified the Delta Town & Country Inn at the intersection of Highway 99 and Highway 17A as the only appropriate site for a gaming facility and entertainment complex in the municipality.

The Corporation of Delta is considering rolling the dice on a new casino in Ladner.

On June 27, Delta council voted unanimously to submit a non-binding expression of interest for a gaming facility to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), a project that could net the municipality between $1.5 million and $3 million annually.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson received a letter from Brad Desmarais, vice-president of casino and community gaming at the BCLC, on June 1 inviting Delta to be considered as a host city for a new gaming facility in the south of the Fraser region of Metro Vancouver. The BCLC also initiated the expression of interest process with the City of Surrey and Tsawwassen First Nation. Interested local governments have until July 15 to respond.

George Harvie, Delta’s chief administrative officer, said staff identified the 11-acre Delta Town & Country Inn property at the intersection of Highway 99 and Highway 17A/62b Street as the only location they would support for development of a gaming facility and entertainment complex. “It’s isolated, it’s not near schools, it’s not in the communities [and] people won’t be driving there through communities,” Harvie said. “The area’s sited for upgrades with the new [bridge] coming in, so to us it’s a perfect site.”

Map of Hotel

Ron Toigo of Shato Holdings Ltd., the owner of the Delta Town & Country Inn, expressed support for the corporation considering the property for the site of a new gaming facility and entertainment complex in a letter to the mayor dated June 16.

Christine Ellerton has lived in Ladner for 18 years and runs Ladner Living, a Facebook page that brings area residents together to discuss community issues. She said it isn’t surprising that someone is looking to build a casino in Delta given what she sees as an overall trend towards development and expansion in the region.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on in Delta,” Ellerton said. “There’s the airport expanding, the port expanding, the new mall in Tsawwassen [and] they’re building so many new residences [that] it was just sort of expected because someone’s got to pay for all that. It just stands to reason to me that it would come up on the slate.”

As for the recommended location, Ellerton said she likes that it’s removed from residential areas as no one wants a casino on their doorstep, but that some residents have shared with her their concern that a gaming facility and entertainment complex at that location may make an already terrible traffic situation worse.

“I was talking about this yesterday with a few people in Ladner…[and] their knee jerk reaction was, ‘Oh my God, right at the mouth of the tunnel?'” Ellerton said, adding construction of the casino and the George Massey Tunnel replacement, especially if done simultaneously, could add to the gridlock.

Harvie said a new gaming facility in a neighbouring jurisdiction could have similar community impacts as one in Delta, such as increased traffic and policing costs, but without the financial benefits.

“If the neighbouring municipalities, particularly the Tsawwassen First Nation, are given the casino license…then we would receive all the traffic issues that would be associated with it,” Harvie said. “If there are police issues — we police the Tsawwassen First Nation — we would be receiving those, and the Tsawwassen First Nation would be receiving the host fee that is provided by the BCLC.”

A BCLC background document included with Harvie’s report to council says a new facility in the region could generate between $25 million and $50 million in incremental revenue. Host local governments receive 10 per cent of net gaming income in their communities, meaning a casino could bring the Corporation of Delta about $1.5 million to $3 million per year.

Harvie said revenue from a gaming facility in Delta would likely not go towards the corporation’s operating budget as the amount would be uncertain. However, he said, it would definitely save Delta taxpayers by having those funds accumulate to build legacy projects such as artificial fields and community centres, or to renovate some of the municipality’s aging buildings.

According to BCLC documents included in Harvie’s report, the south of the Fraser region currently has approximately 460,000 adult residents and two existing gaming facilities: Elements Casino (formerly Fraser Downs) in Cloverdale and Newton Bingo Country.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey man’s extensive report calls city’s policing claims ‘unsubstantiated garbage’

Surrey’s Richard Landale has taken public engagement to a whole new level

Surrey RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Delta police officer

One officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving another officer is investigated

474 Surrey intersections monitored by live-feed cameras

Cameras prove to be useful tool for commuters, ICBC, RCMP

Delta police arrest four men in suspected paving scheme

The men are now in Canada Border Services Agency custody and may be removed from the country

Surrey’s Eat the Dishes named finalist in Small Business BC awards

Marissa Bergeron says she ‘jumped for joy’ when she found out

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Fraser Valley poultry producer’s $130,000 fight with the CFIA earns him a red-tape award

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Paperweight Awards ‘honour’ government over-regulation

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read