The Cascades casino hotel and convention centre. File photo

Bingo move from Langley Township to Langley City given the go-ahead

Township replaces lost gaming revenue from bingo hall and mini-casino used to fund homeless shelter

Langley City council has narrowly approved the closure of the Summit Theatre at the Cascades casino and its conversion to a bingo hall.

Some members of council complained that Cascades owner, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd., should have given the municipality more notice about its proposal to close the theatre and make changes to the convention centre to better accommodate live concerts and other events.

At the April 9 regular meeting of council, Coun. Gayle Martin said the convention centre is owned by the City and managed by the casino operator, who should have given the municipality advance notice of the changes.

“We were never consulted prior to any of this happening,” Martin said.

“I’m disappointed in the way this was brought forward,” she added.

Mayor Ted Schaffer said it was clear the Township bingo licence would be moving to the Cascades in the City, and postponing the decision to have further discussions with the operator would only mean a “major delay to the bingo-playing group out there.”

“There would be huge delays, I believe, and those delays could probably be a couple of months,” Schaffer said.

The vote on the resolution, that “City Council support the proposed ‘substantial change’ of relocating Playtime Langley Bingo to the Cascades Casino” passed in a 4-3 vote, with Councillors Martin, Paul Albrecht and Nathan Pachal opposed.

The alterations to the convention centre are expected to create a larger live performance space that will allow for up to 600 guests, according to a project overview report. The Summit Theatre had room for 420.

Renovations are to include the addition of a stage riser and modification of the ceiling structure to allow for retractable sound and lighting.

Gateway said the former Summit Theatre was “moderately successful,” but was limited due to its size, which restricted the economies of scale for popular available acts, and the 19 and older age requirement for guests.

The new entertainment area is located outside the casino, meaning family friendly shows can be accommodated.

READ MORE: Langley’s Playtime Gaming building purchased by Royal LePage Wolstencroft

The move of the bingo hall represented a potential $100,000 a year loss for Langley’ Gateway of Hope homeless shelter.

When the Playtime Gaming mini-casino and bingo hall at 19664 64 Ave. was operating in Langley Township, it shared a percentage of its gaming revenue with the municipality, money that was used to help fund the Langley City shelter.

That changed when Gateway Ltd., the operator of the Cascades Casino Hotel and Convention Centre in Langley City, acquired Playtime in December 2015.

At the time, Playtime was mostly devoted to bingo, with a mini-casino featuring a small number of slot machines on its second floor.

After the purchase, the new owner closed the mini-casino, then announced plans to relocate bingo to the Cascades, where it intended to close the Summit Theatre at the Cascades and convert that space into a bingo hall.

The end to the revenue-sharing agreement with the Township could have meant a $100,000 loss for the Gateway of Hope shelter if Township council had not agreed to cover the difference in its 2018 budget.

“The Gateway of Hope provides a very important service to the entire community,” Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese said in response to a Times query.

“Township council felt it was important to continue providing the Gateway with the financial support they rely on to give food, shelter, and assistance to those most in need in Langley.”

The casino operator has said moving the bingo facility had been their plan since they acquired it in 2015, and they were unable to find a suitable location within the Township.

“Slot-playing bingo patrons will have access to Cascades Casinos’ exciting slot floor during bingo sessions, and all bingo patrons will have access to greater food and beverage offerings and options,” a project overview stated.

READ MORE: City of Langley approves major casino expansion

Cascades was expected to begin work later this year on a major renovation that will add two more restaurants and more space for gaming and special events to the Langley City facility.

The 23,000 square foot, two-storey addition will be built on the south side of the casino where it faces Fraser Highway, in the location where taxis and motorcycles currently park.

Plans call for an upscale “Atlas” steak and seafood restaurant, with a smaller casual “Chow” dining spot, along with an additional gaming area and washrooms on the ground floor.

A roof patio and special occasion area will go upstairs.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fort Langley’s boarded up buildings ‘filthy, unsightly,’ says health inspector

Eric Woodward says buildings will remain boarded up, following letter from Fraser Health

The Circus is coming to Aldergrove

Great Benjamins Circus is coming to thrill fans of high-wire derring-do in Aldergrove in May

Eco-friendly school nets cash award from Staples and Earth Day Canada

Langley’s Walnut Grove Secondary one of two B.C. schools recognized in Superpower your School contest

VIDEO: Family asks for help finding remains of Surrey man missing for 10 years

Police suspect foul play in Kellen McElwee’s disappearance a decade ago

SLIDESHOW: Titans take down Griffins

Photos of Langley Fundamental Titans senior girls soccer team 4-0 victory over North Delta’s Burnsview Griffins

Could facial scans and fingerprints make you unhackable?

New biometrics capabilities could be a game-changer for those trying to get on your accounts

Countdown is on to the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

Cowichan Valley hosts on July 19-22

Driving Change: A B.C. man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

Most Read