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Slots and more in South Delta by 2020?

edit:casino time:2018-04-07

Delta residents could be dropping a few bucks in the penny slots in their own backyard in a couple of years.

After several months of lightly attended open houses and civic committee meetings, the proposal by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. to build a $70-million casino/hotel complex at the Delta Town & Country site will be going to Delta council for consideration on Monday. If given preliminary approval, it would then head to a public hearing, likely in June.

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The casino company is hoping final approval will be granted not long afterward so it can begin an ambitious construction schedule this fall. A grand opening of the yet to be named complex at the junction of highways 17A and 99 in Ladner would take place in 2020.

The complex, which in addition to the casino and 116-room hotel would include restaurants and meeting spaces, would be in a high visibility location, marking a further change in South Delta’s landscape following the addition of malls at the Tsawwassen First Nation a couple of years ago.

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The proposed Delta casino would open with 500 slot machines but be built to accommodate 600. - file

While the application still must receive civic approval, the City of Delta wholeheartedly jumped at the opportunity to land a casino after the B.C. Lottery Corporation invited Surrey, Delta and the TFN to submit expressions of interest as Gateway looks to relocate Surrey’s Newton Community Gaming Centre.

Having already voted down a proposed destination casino a few years earlier, Surrey council declined, while the TFN and Delta both submitted expressions of interest.

Delta’s submission was clearly the keenest, identifying the Delta Town & Country Inn as a site that’s ideally suited as “a complete entertainment complex” because of its distance from residential neighbourhoods and access to major transportation corridors.

It’s a far cry from almost two decades earlier when Delta politicians were opposed to the idea of the province’s casino expansion plans as well as a proposed destination casino and bingo facility at the TFN, which at the time would have partnered with Lady Luck Entertainment.

That attitude changed long ago in other Lower Mainland cities that are now raking in big revenues with their casinos, including neighbouring Richmond, where hundreds came out for a public hearing in the late 1990s to voice opposition to expanded gaming, only for a very few to come out to a hearing just a few years later for the proposed River Rock Casino Resort.

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Gateway’s $70-million proposal includes a casino, hotel, restaurants and more.

 

Gateway, which is embarking on an ambitious expansion plan, operates 26 gaming facilities across Canada, including the Grand Villa in Burnaby and Starlight in New Westminster.

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