The business of charity
Re: Split decision, Feb. 21 letters.
It’s tiresome when people cite numbers from one side of a ledger, ignoring the other, to make a point.
Fact: BCLC/Gateway proposed to take $60 million per year out of the economy of South Surrey and surrounding areas into a provincial tax system which masquerades as a charity. Over 10 years, not allowing for inflation or interest, this would amount to $600 million out of this area’s jobs and economic activity.
In return, Gateway offers less than $20 million a year, their share less writeoffs and profits, including 500 new jobs. BCLC offers the city $3.9 million ‘chump change’ – and Surrey stands to collect $1.5 million in property taxes each year, for a total of less than $25 million.
That leaves an annual deficit of $35 million – or $350 million over 10 years. These impacts do not include other costs attributed to gambling – addiction, poverty, health problems, loan sharking, money laundering and other crime.
If you like these numbers, I can point you to several people who would love to manage your finances.
I see less objection if Gateway proceeds with a family-friendly project with no casino, but Surrey should not have to subsidize it.
Surrey already has two gaming houses taking advantage of people less able to fend off the lure of instant riches and using them to feed the public ‘maw.’ Only 12 per cent of BCLC net revenues go to community projects and charities chosen by the Crown corporation.
The system is sick.
Which government has the determination to fix it?
Don Murray, Surrey