Jim Lightbody

Jim Lightbody

Casino crime fears a ‘myth,’ lottery spokesman says

Proponents of South Surrey casino project hold information meeting

The third public meeting in less than a week on a proposed casino in South Surrey heard reassurances about the potential for increased crime from a spokesman for the government body that regulates casinos.

“A lot of people have these myths about what happens in a casino,” said Jim Lightbody, B.C. Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC’s) vice-president of Casino and Community Gaming.

Lightbody was being interviewed by CTV News at a Wednesday night public information meeting organized by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, the company that hopes to build a $100-million casino, hotel and convention centre complex at 10 Avenue and 168 Street.

Lightbody was reacting to comments from some residents who predicted the casino will bring money-laundering, loan-sharking, drug dealing and other crimes to the community.

“We have cameras, as you can understand, everywhere,” Lightbody said. “We have security everywhere.”

Gateway estimated 300-350 people attended the three-hour information meeting at Hazelmere Country Club.

“It was a valuable opportunity to solicit public feedback and get accurate information out about the proposed project,” Gateway general counsel James Chen said in an email to Peace Arch News Thursday.

“We understand that the proposed project won’t be supported by everyone in the community, but what we are looking forward to is the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with residents and concerned citizens about the project benefits, details and impact, and ensure that accurate information is getting out to the community.”

Chen added the feedback from the meeting will be included in a summary report submitted to the City of Surrey next week.

The two previous public forums, which were not arranged by Gateway, drew about 80 people to a Sunday afternoon hearing and around 60 to an early Wednesday morning meeting.

Artist's renderingThose events were organized by Susan Keeping, the BC NDP candidate for Surrey-White Rock, and were dominated by opponents of the project.

According to Gateway and BCLC projections, the complex would produce $6 million in revenues annually for the City of Surrey.

The facility would occupy 18 acres of a 25-acre site.

Preliminary designs call for a landscaped complex that includes a 60,000-sq.-ft. gaming floor, an 800-seat theatre, a 27,000-sq.-ft. convention and entertainment zone, a 200-room, four-star hotel, four restaurants and three lounges.

BCLC has suggested the casino, if approved by the city, could be open as soon as late 2014.

Another public forum, organized by casino opponents, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Pacific Inn, 1160 King George Blvd., starting at 7 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the South Surrey Ratepayers Association, which says the mayors of White Rock, Surrey and representatives of the casino and BCLC have been invited to attend.

– with files from CTV News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Right Reverend Peter Klenner, pastor of All Saints Community Church (and Bishop of the Anglican Mission in Canada). Contributed photo
Purchase aims to restore historic Crescent Beach landmark

All Saints Church fundraising to buy Holy Cross, retain it as ‘sacred space’

Glisha
Surrey singer Glisha, band Sylvia Platters win Fraser Valley Music Awards

Nov. 19 event saw awards for artists in 16 categories, including former Surreyite Ashley Pater

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. Ontario is reporting three new cases of the novel coronavirus today, bringing the total in the province to 18. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP
Seven Surrey schools added to COVID-19 exposure list, bringing total to 40

Letter to parents: ‘Case(s) have been isolated, and there is no direct exposure risk at the time’

Elise Castle stands with food items she collected from friends and family on her 11th birthday, Nov. 21. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey girl, 11, celebrates birthday by hosting food drive

Elise Castle, 11, said she wanted to help people in need

Seed & Stone hopes to open a cannabis retail store in the old Giraffe Restaurant building. (Seed & Stone rendering)
Cannabis store proposed for White Rock’s West Beach

Digital public information meeting scheduled

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Most Read