News

Surrey reviewing Newton casino plan

Newton Bingo Country at 7093 King George Boulevard. - Leader file photo
Newton Bingo Country at 7093 King George Boulevard.
— image credit: Leader file photo

Surrey is exploring the ramifications of asking the province not to grant a gaming licence to a Newton casino, a privilege won in a hard-fought battle two years ago.

Several councillors are upset after granting rezoning in 2009 for Boardwalk Gaming, which promised to renovate Newton Bingo Country at 7093 King George Boulevard. It was a highly contentious issue, but council endorsed the plan on a five-four vote in part because of a promise of $25 million in upgrades to the run-down property.

However, Boardwalk has since sold the property to Gateway Casino and Entertainment Ltd., and with that sale went any promises of improvement to the property.

Coun. Linda Hepner told The Leader last month if a vote were held today on the project, she wouldn't support it.

Coun. Bob Bose challenged his colleagues to take action on the issue.

He moved that Surrey "serve notice" to the B.C. Lottery Corporation to withdraw from the Host Financial Assistance Agreement with respect to the Boardwalk Gaming casino agreement.

Council referred the matter to the city's legal department for advice.

"I'm taking the position that this is matter of public interest, and I'm fighting to have the whole thing rescinded," Bose said Tuesday. "This is between Surrey and the (BC) Lottery Corporation."

Coun. Barinder Rasode was happy to see Bose's motion on Monday and hopes the city can follow through with it.

She notes when the rezoning was approved three years ago, not-for-profit groups which rely on gaming funds were pitted against the community. Now that gaming funds have dried up, she says the feelings in the community are overwhelmingly opposed to the casino.

"Everybody is very clear that we don't need to have this gaming facility in the heart of Newton," Rasode said Wednesday.

Resident Pat Cecchetto was one of the many lobbying for the project in 2009, and says there's now way she'd speak in favour of the project now. She feels bad for the residents of Newton, who, she says, don't need a casino in their midst.

"I do believe they are the victims of this," Cecchetto said, adding she wishes she could go back in time and take back her support.

"I'm totally sorry," Cecchetto said. "I think it was wrong."

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
21-year-old man went missing Saturday
 
Executive pay rises again at TransLink
 
Pair sought for credit fraud
Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows parents protest school closures
 
Summer reading program ends with a bang
 
Fourth Maple Ridge Rotary Duck Race a success
Singing the tunes of the North Fraser Bluegrass Festival
 
Parents rally in support of striking teachers
 
New facility for UFV opens at Five Corners

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 2 edition online now. Browse the archives.