Delta has received a rezoning application for a proposed new casino in Ladner.
At Monday night’s council meeting, Delta released a staff report outlining the application from Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. to allow a new gaming and entertainment complex to be built on the 11-acre Delta Town & Country Inn property at 6005 Hwy. 17A.
The proposed development would include a five-storey hotel with 116 rooms, a casino, meeting facilities and multiple restaurants.
Gateway’s application includes a request for a casino with up to 600 slot machines and 24 gaming tables, however a letter to Delta Mayor Lois Jackson from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation dated Nov. 6 says that the BCLC has not made a decision regarding the quantity or type of gaming that will be allowed.
Under the Gaming Control Act, the letter notes, “BCLC has the sole authority relating to type, location and allocation of gaming devices.”
The application comes a year almost to the day after the BCLC announced Delta as its preferred location for a new casino south of the Fraser River, a venture that could net the city between $1.5 million and $3 million annually.
After months of discussion, the BCLC finally gave preliminary approval for a casino at Town & Country Inn on Sept. 7, 2017, despite previously saying the location was unsuitable because of its distance from the Surrey market and its proximity to the River Rock Casino in Richmond. Delta was steadfast that the Town & Country site was the only location the city would consider.
Both the City of Delta and Gateway Casinos are now in the process of scheduling a series of public information meetings in order to engage the public and get feedback on the company’s proposal.
Gateway’s plan is for at least six meetings, two each in Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta, with the potential for at least one additional meeting in early 2018.
Four of those meetings will be held next week: two at the Town & Country Inn on Tuesday, Nov. 28 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.), and two at the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre on Thursday, Nov. 30 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.).
Two more meetings are tentatively scheduled for Dec. 11, to be held in the clubhouse at Tsawwassen Springs. Those meetings have yet to be confirmed.
Delta will be holding its own public consultations, at least one in each community. Details aren’t yet available as to where and when those will occur, but the city will be placing public notices in front of the property on highways 17A and 99, as well as near the driveway access on 60th Avenue, and plans to create a project page on the city’s website and use social media to help spread the word about any developments.
Delta is also taking the step of sending out mailers to every home in Delta advising them of the dates and locations of the city’s public information meetings and how to provide comments on the application.
As per the Gaming Control Act, Delta is required to consult with any potentially affected local governments, specifically any within five kilometres of the perimeter of the proposed site gaming facility. As the City of Richmond falls within that radius, they will be invited to weigh in on the proposal. The Tsawwassen First Nation, although technically located more than five kilometres from the site, will also be consulted as a courtesy.
Richmond has been adamant about its opposition to a casino in Delta.
On Nov. 25, 2016, Richmond council sent a report to the BCLC and the Corporation of Delta stating that Richmond was opposed to any casino at the Town & Country Inn. The report suggested that “any casino in Delta should be located sufficiently away from Richmond, so as not to negatively affect the city … or the existing River Rock Casino.”
“I still have those concerns,” Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie told the Reporter in September after the BCLC approved the Town & Country site. “[It] is just up the highway from the River Rock and could form some unwanted encroachment.”
– with files from Grace Kennedy