Potential Delta casino site identified: city council votes to move forward with proposal
'The Delta Town & Country Inn property holds the potential for a significant entertainment complex ...'
Delta city council is moving ahead on a plan to bring a casino to the city after identifying a potential site and voting in favour of filing a formal expression of interest with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
A report by Delta chief administrative officer George Harvie said city staff evaluated three sites but concluded that the Delta Town & Country Inn property at Highway 17A and Highway 99 to be "the only suitable site upon which a gaming facility entertainment complex could be considered."
A big selling point for the location is the 10-lane bridge proposed to replace the George Massey Tunnel, which the report states will only enhance access and traffic to the site. Bridge construction is slated to start next year.
"The Delta Town & Country Inn property holds the potential for a significant entertainment complex that could act as a significant tourist attraction to the tens of thousands of vehicles passing along the adjacent major transportation corridors each day," reads the report.
The Delta Town & Country Inn is owned by Shato Holdings. Shato Holdings principal Ron Toigo has expressed his support for the idea. Toigo also owns the Vancouver Giants major junior hockey team, which has its training facility in Delta.
Earlier this year, BCLC identified the North Shore and south of the Fraser as being potential sites for new casinos. Eight local governments and First Nations were invited to participate in the expression of interest process.
Under the BCLC formula, local governments get a 10 per cent share of net income generated by gaming.
According to BCLC numbers, Delta stands to gain between $1.5 to $3 million per year by hosting a casino, although BCLC won't release the market analysis behind its push to get two new casinos, calling the data "competitive information."
BCLC admits its number crunching didn't take into account potential impacts on other businesses, community attitudes towards gaming or social impacts.
Interestingly, BCLC's 2016/17-2018/2019 service plan says its "two major business units (lottery and casino) are mature and face market saturation."
And according to BCLC's 2014-2015 annual service plan report, 90 per cent of B.C. adults already live within a 30-minute drive of a casino or community gaming facility.