Langley Township mulls over mega-casino
CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, January 25, 2013 6:10PM PST
Last Updated Friday, January 25, 2013 7:08PM PST
A battle is brewing in the Township of Langley over the same proposed mega-casino that was shot down by Surrey City Council earlier this month.
Township of Langley mayor Jack Froese said he’s interested in having the Gateway Casino come to the district municipality east of Surrey, though no motion or vote has been taken.
“Of course we wouldn’t say no. We’d like to take a look at it,” Froese said. “I know a lot of the municipalities that have casinos; it’s helped a lot with some of their infrastructure projects or amenities like community centres and theatres.”
The proposed site, formerly Gibbs Nursery at 200th Street and 80th Avenue, is three acres in size and owned by the Township.
Coun. Kim Richter brought up the Gateway Casino idea with council this week, though she doesn’t agree with the proposed Gibbs Nursery site due to its proximity to the Langley Events Centre.
“I don’t think casinos and kids go well together. However, further north on 200th Street is the location my first pick would be,” she said. “You’ve got the density, you’ve got the access, and there’s undeveloped land there.”
Council might face stiff opposition from Township residents, who are already divided on the project, and the BC Lottery Corporation itself, which may not approve a new casino as nearby Langley City is already home to Cascades Casino.
“I see people go into debt because of going to casinos, they waste their money, [they have] family problems because of the casinos…I’m totally one-hundred percent against it,” one Township of Langley resident told CTV News.
The Gateway Casino proposal was rejected in Surrey by a vote of five to four after a public hearing that lasted seven hours. Mayor Diane Watts cast the tie-breaking vote.
The casino would offer 10 per cent of its profits to any municipality that goes ahead with the project. Last year in B.C. $82-million was put into community coffers that already have casinos.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Peter Grainger