Newton Bingo Country at 7093 King George Boulevard.

Surrey reviewing Newton casino plan

Legal department is examining the possibility of city backing out of gaming agreement.

Surrey is exploring the ramifications of asking the province not to grant a gaming licence to a Newton casino, a privilege won in a hard-fought battle two years ago.

Several councillors are upset after granting rezoning in 2009 for Boardwalk Gaming, which promised to renovate Newton Bingo Country at 7093 King George Boulevard. It was a highly contentious issue, but council endorsed the plan on a five-four vote in part because of a promise of $25 million in upgrades to the run-down property.

However, Boardwalk has since sold the property to Gateway Casino and Entertainment Ltd., and with that sale went any promises of improvement to the property.

Coun. Linda Hepner told The Leader last month if a vote were held today on the project, she wouldn’t support it.

Coun. Bob Bose challenged his colleagues to take action on the issue.

He moved that Surrey “serve notice” to the B.C. Lottery Corporation to withdraw from the Host Financial Assistance Agreement with respect to the Boardwalk Gaming casino agreement.

Council referred the matter to the city’s legal department for advice.

“I’m taking the position that this is matter of public interest, and I’m fighting to have the whole thing rescinded,” Bose said Tuesday. “This is between Surrey and the (BC) Lottery Corporation.”

Coun. Barinder Rasode was happy to see Bose’s motion on Monday and hopes the city can follow through with it.

She notes when the rezoning was approved three years ago, not-for-profit groups which rely on gaming funds were pitted against the community. Now that gaming funds have dried up, she says the feelings in the community are overwhelmingly opposed to the casino.

“Everybody is very clear that we don’t need to have this gaming facility in the heart of Newton,” Rasode said Wednesday.

Resident Pat Cecchetto was one of the many lobbying for the project in 2009, and says there’s now way she’d speak in favour of the project now. She feels bad for the residents of Newton, who, she says, don’t need a casino in their midst.

“I do believe they are the victims of this,” Cecchetto said, adding she wishes she could go back in time and take back her support.

“I’m totally sorry,” Cecchetto said. “I think it was wrong.”

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

Just Posted

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted black

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility diagnosed with COVID-19

Fraser Health said a rapid response team is on site

South Surrey resident blames city after house floods

Marilyn Molter said debris from city-planted maple trees easily clogs street drains

Senior White Rock election worker not concerned about safety at the polls

‘Casting your vote will be like getting a take out coffee,’ says Elections BC CEO

Surrey’s Johnston Heights reporting COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Margaret Cuthbert

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

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

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read