In Canada, the city of Surrey has turned down an opportunity from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation to host a small community gaming centre or new casino featuring a range of slots and gaming tables.
According to a report from The Now newspaper, the city council for the Vancouver suburb passed on the development Monday evening because its policy on gaming, which was established in 2001, states that any new casino must be part of a “cluster of facilities” that could include other venues such as a hotel with convention and meeting amenities.
“It must be an entertainment complex if it appears in our city,” Linda Hepner, mayor for Surrey, told the newspaper.
Surrey, which already hosts the Elements Casino And Fraser Downs Racetrack, was one of three western localities that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation targeted in June for its latest gaming facility south of the Fraser River. The state-owned British Columbia operator also asked for expressions of interest from the nearby town of Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation and estimated that the proposed facility could bring in annual revenues of up to $38 million a year with the local government benefitting to the tune of around $2 million.
“If we are looking at entertaining the idea of another gaming facility, it would have to be a destination gaming facility,” Surrey councillor Bruce Hayne told the newspaper. “The request for expressions of interest from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation are for a community gaming centre and, in my opinion, a community gaming centre sees money going out of the community where a destination-type facility with restaurants and other amenities would see a net flow of capital into the city.”
Surrey similarly turned down a proposal three years ago that would have seen Gateway Casinos And Entertainment spend around $77 million to construct a 190-room hotel and casino on 25 acres of land only 1.5 miles from the city’s international border with the United States. This facility was also due to feature a 60,000 sq ft gaming floor alongside a 27,000 sq ft convention centre and could have netted the city up to $2.3 million a year.