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Newton bingo hall to lose its slots

The slots will be gone from Newton Square Bingo Country by May 15. - Leader file photo
The slots will be gone from Newton Square Bingo Country by May 15.
— image credit: Leader file photo

The BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has decided to pull slot machines from the Newton bingo hall.

The lottery corporation announced the decision in a news release Wednesday afternoon, citing "changing local market conditions, which do not satisfy BCLC's vision to offer outstanding gaming and entertainment" as the reason for pulling the one-armed bandits from the facility.

Since October 2012, Newton Bingo Country, at 7093 King George Blvd., had been home to 150 slot machines.

However, earlier this month, Surrey council asked city staff to address the potential removal of the slot machines on the basis that Gateway Casinos and Entertainment – which was seeking to redevelop and renovate the property into a community gaming centre – had not met a May 1 deadline to begin construction, as detailed in its project development agreement.

Gateway and BCLC disputed the notion, and the development agreement, obtained by Black Press, stated that permits had been applied for and demolition of two buildings had been completed, though "no construction has taken place."

The city was not a signatory on the development agreement, and BCLC had the final say as to whether the slots would be removed.

According to the release, the slots will be discontinued by May 15.

Its the second time in just over a year that a gaming proposal has been shot down in Surrey.

In January 2013, a proposal for a South Surrey casino was voted down in council.

In Wednesday's release, BCLC stated that it will continue to "review options to serve the gaming marketplace south of the Fraser River."

 

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