A full-fledged entertainment complex is likely in the cards for Delta after one of Canada’s largest gambling company Gateway Casinos & Entertainment received a preliminary approval to relocate the Newton Community Gaming Centre in Surrey to the current site of the Delta Town and Country Inn site in Ladner. The C$70 million hotel/casino complex is to be the relocation of Surrey’s Newton Community Gaming Center, supposing that the project moves forward.
Gateway’s project is currently pending required municipal approvals. Residents have mixed feelings about the potential casino – some were strongly against it, some pointed out that it would be beneficial, while others are waiting to see how it plays out.
Last week, during a Delta Chamber of Commerce luncheon, business owners had the opportunity to have their say on Gateway’s casino proposal. Among all other issues tied up in the considerations, business owners were worried that Gateway’s casino complex is to cause a labor shortage. This means that business sectors are threatened to face a shortage of talented labor with experience and education.
In an interview with the Reporter, Chamber Board Chair Les Voros explained that the opening of the Tsawwassen Mills in October 2016 has produced the same effect, and more precisely vacuum of workers. The opening of Gateway’s full-blown entertainment complex is to worsen the situation. It is important to note that the casino is expected to bring up to 700 new jobs.
Business Owners Voice Their Concerns Regarding Gateway’s Casino
On 24th January, guest speakers from the B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and Gateway Casinos attended the Delta Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon to provide additional details regarding Gateway’s casino proposal. More than 50 people attended the luncheon in an attempt to get more information regarding the casino venture and address community concerns. Voros explained that people show huge interest in Gateway’s casino proposal.
In order to soothe business owners’ worries over the creation of vacuum of workers, Gateway Casinos’ Director of Public Relations, Tanya Gabara, said that Gateway is to hire people from the whole region, but not only from Delta. She added that the job positions, which Gateway is to offer will provoke great interest due to their diversity, but the casino is to draw part of its existing team to the new casino.
BCLC’s manager of stakeholder engagement, Chris Fairclough, explained that Gateway’s casino is to pump millions in the local economy. He took the opportunity to note that casino gambling could foster local economic growth by bringing large tax revenues for the government.
Responsible gambling has turned an important issue every time, when a new casino project is being discussed. Mr. Fairclough explained that British Columbia together with the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch established a campaign to help protect vulnerable players. He explained that the community-based counseling services are for free and available in any language.