Letters to the Editor

Casino/crime correlation queried

Arguments for and against a proposed casino complex on 168 Street at 10 Avenue are broken down by letter writers. - File photo
Arguments for and against a proposed casino complex on 168 Street at 10 Avenue are broken down by letter writers.
— image credit: File photo


Once again I read with stunned disbelief the absolutely nonsensical letters written by poorly informed or people suffering from severe myopic vision.

A letter published in your Dec. 6 edition (Differing futures for South Surrey) raises concerns that the proposed casino will surely ruin our society.

Does the letter writer not understand that every city in Canada has a proliferation of crime. Surrey is not at all unique in regards to car thefts or drugs, and a casino will have no impact on our current situation. How anyone would correlate a casino with car theft is way beyond me.

She also makes the quantum leap in assumption and guarantees everyone knows more than one family torn apart by problem gambling. Well, madam, count me as a person who does not know anyone with a gambling addiction. I do, however, know many families torn apart because of alcohol abuse, and many families who are struggling financially but continue to waste their precious financial resources on tobacco products – both legal and both readily available.

If people have such deep concerns about addictions, they should focus those concerns on things that are proven to cause harm. Perhaps a temperance movement or prohibition of alcohol would be a start.

Actually, prohibition didn’t work in the past and it won’t work now, nor will the rejection of the casino application solve any of the gambling issues some seem to think permeates our society .

If people want it, they will find it. That applies to alcohol, tobacco and gaming. There are many things that plague today’s society that were not a concern to past generations, but gambling, alcohol and tobacco are nothing new and they are not about to disappear soon.

If people don’t want a casino they should stand and be counted but, please, at least present an argument that will stand a test of logic.

Andrew Johnston, Surrey

• • •

In response to the Gateway Casinos advertisement in your recent edition regarding the proposed South Surrey casino, they state “there is no evidence that casinos increase crime rates in B.C.”

This appears to fly in the face of an August 2006 internal report by the Richmond RCMP criminal-intelligence section obtained by The Vancouver Sun.

The report states: “The opening of River Rock Casino in Richmond has led to a quadrupling of casino-related crime and allowed new organized crime groups to gain a foothold in the city… The River Rock Casino has inadvertently created an environment that allows the criminal activity of loansharking and its related criminal acts to now flourish behind the curtain of a ‘family-oriented entertainment experience.”

At a news conference that summer, Richmond RCMP Supt. Ward Clapham said his detachment was struggling to keep up with crime at River Rock. He said three of five kidnappings in Richmond that year had involved possible gambling-related extortion and two of the 11 kidnappings in 2005 were gambling-related. There were also at least two suicides in Richmond related to gambling debts, he said.

I hope the Surrey mayor and council members do the right thing and not allow their project to go any further.

Surrey does not need nor deserve this.

Dale A. Michaud, Surrey



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