New Delta Casino Approved in Vancouver Area, Neighboring Mayor Furious
City council has signed off on plans for a new casino complex in Delta, a Vancouver suburb. But if a nearby mayor gets his way, the project will never get off the ground in its current form.
While pointing out that the casino would employ 700 people and generate between $1.5 million and $3 million in annual revenue for the city, they said the deal was too good to pass up. The plan gained final approval by a 4-2 vote this week.
The new casino would be located in the Delta, just outside of Vancouver, and will feature a 42,227 square foot casino floor, in addition to 124 hotel rooms in a five-story tower. The total cost of the project is expected to be about $70 million.
However, it still needs to clear one major hurdle before getting the go ahead from provincial officials.
Location, Location, Location
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie is not impressed by the proposal, citing a “terrible” location as the big reason why.
Richmond is right next door to Delta and is already home to the River Rock, one of the biggest casinos in the region.
Brodie admits that he is concerned that a new casino will draw revenue away from his community’s gaming facility, but his bigger issue is with the complete lack of transportation infrastructure in the area where the Delta casino would be built.
“It’s in a car-oriented destination without any real public transportation and without any likely development around it because it’s on agricultural land,” Brodie told CBC News.
He’s also worried that, even without the extra infrastructure, the casino development will have a detrimental impact on the surrounding farmland.
Vancouver-area casinos have been in the headlines more nefarious reasons in recent months, after it was revealed that organized crime syndicated were using the facilities to launder their dirty money. Police are now investigating, and the matter could eventually end up going to a public inquiry.
The Fight is On
Brodie has let his concerns be known throughout the process and isn’t planning to stand by while the casino gets built.
He’s filed a notice of objection with the BC Lotteries Corporation (BCLC), which regulates the local casino industry and must give final approval before the project can move forward.
In the past, he’s suggested that a previously discussed location in the north end of the city would be more suitable for the casino project.
“We would hope that they take a look at it some more and the process would lead to a rethink,” he said.
While the BCLC has yet to comment on the Brodie’s objections, it’s likely that the matter will need to go through a dispute resolution process before it can sign off on the development.
If they do, developers will break ground this fall, aiming for a grand opening in 2020.
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