Surrey is to bid farewell to the Newton Community Gaming Centre. The British Lottery Gaming Corporation (BCLC) confirmed that the bingo hall will be closed after 21st April this year. The closure of the Newton Community Gaming Centre is a result of Gateway’s intentions to relocate its gambling property to Delta and transform it into a multi-million casino resort. Some time ago, BCLC has chosen Delta as the preferred host for a new casino south of the Fraser River.
In 2014, BCLC announced that slot machines at Newton Community Gaming Centre will be relocated and since then, the gambling venue is offering only bingo games. Last September, BCLC announced that Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is poised to relocate its gambling venue in Surrey to the Delta Town and Country Inn after the site received preliminary approval.
Following the announcement, Gateway did not waste any time to submit its application to build a casino in South Delta. Gateway’s casino project was subjected to the necessary rezoning and public approval. In an attempt to win the hearts of the locals, the company behind the project outlined the broad economic benefits, which the casino could bring to the city.
Setting the Stage for Gateway’s Casino Proposal
The consultation process has already started with three public information meetings in the books. Quite unsurprisingly, locals had mixed emotions about Gateway’s casino proposal. Pro-casino crowds were excited to hear that the city will soon be the host of a premier casino. Casino opponents, on the other hand, lauded their concerns relating to the negative social costs that may be associated with gambling.
The future of Gateway’s casino proposal still remains blurred. Supposing that Gateway receives the go-ahead to build a full-fledged casino in Delta, the company would own or lease the facility and operate it on BCLC’s behalf. BCLC spokesperson Anjee Gill stated that Gateway’s lease agreement for the location is to expire this year and the company has already taken steps to transfer its employees from the Newton facility to other Gateway properties nearby.
The property is to feature a bountiful selection of gambling options, including slot machines and gaming tables. As for non-gambling activities, the entertainment complex is to feature two restaurants, bars, banquet space, luxurious hotel and others. Delta casino, that would be the relocation of the Newton license, is to boost the city’s local economy and decrease the unemployment rate.
In an interview with the Now-Leader, Newton Business Improvement Association director Philip Aguirre explained that the relocation of Gateway’s gambling venue is to have a negative economic impact on the city and a development strategy should soon be presented by the city officials.