Last week, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment revealed the design of the proposed casino complex, which is to be built at the Delta Town & Country Inn site in Ladner. The company also announced that the new property would be a Cascades-branded casino. However, the casino needs to receive official approval from City Council, following the public hearing scheduled for May 1.
The proposed gambling and entertainment complex would be developed and operated by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, one of the largest gambling operators in Canada. The $70 million property would have around 500 slot machines and 24 gaming tables, as well as Gateway’s signature restaurant brands, MATCH Eatery and Public House, ATLAS Steak + Fish and The Buffet. In addition, the complex is expected to feature a hotel with up to 124 rooms, more restaurants, meeting space and around 800 free parking spaces. There would also be a theatre for live events that would diversify the entertainment options and attract more customers.
The Cascades Casino Delta would bring up to 700 new jobs to the area and would result in various economic opportunities for Ladner and the City of Delta, according to Gateway’s CEO Tony Santo. The company explains that the design and theme of the Cascades brand are built around the concept of “play”, which means that the complex would be much more than just a casino venue. It would be a full-service local entertainment facility with sophisticated amenities in combination with “casual ambiance”.
The new property would be yet another Cascades-branded casino for Gateway as it already operates several Cascades venues in Langley, Penticton, and Kamloops, British Columbia. The proposal is expected to go before Delta City Council this May. Before this, a public hearing for the rezoning application is scheduled for Tuesday, May 1. If the project receives approval from City Council and all required permits from the province and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, the existing 49-room Delta Town and Country Inn would be demolished this summer and construction of the new complex would start by the end of the year. The company hopes that the new casino would be fully operational by 2020.
Cascades Casino Delta Will Not Increase Crime, Problem Gambling
Not everyone is particularly enthusiastic about the development of a new casino in Ladner. Opponents of the casino have expressed multiple concerns, including traffic problems, increase in crime rates and prevalence of problem gambling. Gateway, however, has addressed these issues and recently, it said that the current road network would be perfectly capable to accommodate the peak traffic caused by the proposed casino. In a traffic analysis, the company points out that there is a congestion associated with the George Massey Tunnel, but the road infrastructure would be able to deal with any increased traffic from the casino during peak periods.
The other concern, that the new casino would lead to increased crime rates, is unfounded, according to Delta police. In an interview for a local media outlet, Delta Police Department Chief Neil Dubord says that he does not expect a surge in violent crime or property crime, as no single research paper suggest a link between the two. One of the biggest issues raised by opponents of the proposed Cascades Casino Delta is that would fuel a gambling addiction. The relationship between the prevalence of problem gambling and the presence of gambling facilities have been researched and proven multiple times.
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), however, says that it has taken steps to help problem gamblers. According to the agency, the casino in Delta would promote responsible gambling by offering casino products that feature special software that reminds patrons of the amount they have wagered and the time they have spent on a particular game. The BCLC also says that it offers problem gamblers assistance through dedicated programs, namely the Game Sense program, and helps people find counselling, which is free of charge for anyone in the province.