Residents pack Surrey council chambers to hear speakers at Friday night's public hearing on the Gateway casino/entertainment complex proposal (inset: Rich Coleman, B.C. minister responsible for gaming.

Coleman chides City of Surrey over casino decision

Minister responsible for gaming says casino proposal will go elsewhere, mayor says hotel-convention centre doesn't need gambling component

Reaction to the City of Surrey’s decision on the proposed casino/entertainment complex from Rich Coleman, B.C.’s minister responsible for gaming, was a swift thumbs-down.

He suggested that other areas, including First Nations communities that had expressed interest, would be more likely to be investigated as potential sites for such a complex in future.

But Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon – a member of Coleman’s caucus – said Monday he felt that while council members had faced a difficult issue, “they ultimately made the right decision with respect to what the community wanted.”

In his comments on Saturday, Coleman asserted that Surrey had already approved zoning for a casino at the South Surrey site, and that amenities of the proposal, such as the hotel and conference centre, had been included at Surrey’s request, only to be turned down by council.

He also repeated the claim, widely reported early in the campaign for the casino, that Surrey would have received 10 per cent of the profits, or some $6 million per year.

Gateway Casinos had since admitted that Surrey’s take from the proposed complex would be closer to the $3 million estimated by the city. The company acknowledged the $6 million potential annual benefit to the city – cited on Gateway’s website as an incentive for approving the new proposal –  included revenues already received from other gambling operations in Surrey, including Fraser Downs.

In later comments Saturday, Coleman appeared to back off a little on his earlier critical stance on the city, noting that, while he was disappointed on Surrey’s behalf, B.C.’s gaming policy is not to force such a proposal on a community that doesn’t want it.

He was unavailable for comment Monday.

Watts, who noted zoning for gaming wasn’t already approved, told the Peace Arch News Monday that the land still sits at third reading, and that the original developer of the property made a commitment at the time of the land-use public hearing in January 2011 that a hotel and convention centre would proceed with or without a casino.

“The architect stated it was not predicated on a casino license. The developer went on record that a casino would be the icing on the cake, that it wouldn’t be a deal breaker,” she said, noting the casino license is only one piece in determining the future of the site.

Watts said council will await further proposals from the current owners.



Just Posted

Langley playing host to B.C.’s best high school wrestlers

A pair of champion women wrestlers share stories and experience with younger generation.

VIDEO: Winterhawks end Giants winning streak at seven

Playing on home ice in Langley, Vancouver’s G-Men fell 5-3 during a Family Day game against Portland.

Langley’s Tiffany Foster and Team Canada ride to fifth-place-finish in Palm Beach

Canadian show jumping team competes in $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup

VIDEO: Celebrating Family Day in the Langleys

Thousands attend child-friendly events

Residential fire reported in Aldergrove

Multiple units called to 2800 block area of 266A Street

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Aaron Pritchett and George Canyon to headline Gone Country concert in Cloverdale this summer

‘Early bird tickets on sale via Twins Cancer Fundraising website

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

UPDATE: Plane flips over at Pitt Meadows airport

The pilot and lone occupant exited the aircraft on his own and uninjured.

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read