This is the NoCasinoSurrey blog, created on behalf of the Surrey Rate Payers Association. We are a community based organization and work with City Hall to raise concerns on behalf our the residents of Surrey. If you would like to contact us, please see our Contacts page.

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  1. For those of you who attended the information meeting last week at the Pink Palace and perhaps listened to what the guest First Nations speaker was saying but didn’t “Hear” the message please read the linked article. Only one speaker addressed this issue during the question and answer session and was either not heard, or people did not realize the implication of what she was saying. The implications are immense! The unavoidable truth is that casinos and gambling is just a too attractive revenue stream for people to ignore. The numbers don’t lie and a Casino/resort complex is going to be built in South Surrey at some point, come Hell or High Water, by someone. If this particular proposal for the Gateway Casino is defeated it will not mean that the issue is dead. The proposal will move to a new location, possibly one where there is less or no public input and revenues are not shared with the City of Surrey, the revenues are not subjected to the same taxation as it would be on public land and the city and people of BC would be paying for the improvements to infrastructures surrounding the development instead of the developer.

    What do you think a casino south of 8th Ave at 160th would do to the waterfront, property values, traffic etc? It is even closer to homes, schools, beaches, recreation etc. How much dialogue happened between the First Nations there and the community before the 6 foot chain-link fence went up along 8th Ave/ Marine Dr. barring the community from access to the park there? How much voice do you think you would have in a development there? It may be time to think about choosing between the lesser of evils and considering the options. It may be time to ask for changes and concessions for the Gateway proposals that will benefit the community at large instead of killing it only to face a new development where there is no chance for dialogue with the developers. If Gateway is in possession of 25 acres and is developing only 18 that means 7 acres for parks, small shops, play field, small outdoor amphitheatre or ???? If the 6 story car park is too obtrusive there are other alternatives to building upwards. If the car park is built outwards or partially in ground and the roof of the structure is left available many things can be done on the top of structures such as that including shops, green spaces and public areas.

    Arguments against the social evils of gambling are pointless. It is a legal business, just as tobacco and alcohol are. Access to gambling is as easy as going to a 7-11 or firing up your computer so don’t kid yourself that by stopping this casino development you are helping to solve a social problem. Instead you are better to ask for more help for those affected by gambling, ask for increased awareness programs, demand more of the profits be used for these kinds of initiatives. Asking for gambling to go away is just not realistic. You may as well ask at the same time for the liquor stores and pubs to be shut down and the government to ban smoking altogether and stop taking tax revenues from these products and activities.

    The article below is a wakeup call. Lets’ be careful not to cut our noses off to spite our faces. It may be worth exploring and discussing and demanding changes to the Gateway development to benefit the people of South Surrey/White Rock while we have an opportunity to do so. If this proposal is defeated now we may win this battle only to ultimately lose the war with far greater damaging and debilitating consequences.

    So think about instead of saying “NO” think about saying “Okay BUT…. we want………..” and what those wants might be.


    Just my 2 cents. Feel free to respond.

    Scott Keddy

    • It is better to fight each proposed Casino one Casino at a time, than to give in to the greed and corruptiion that is destroying Canada. I refused to be distracted by the fact that if this Casino proposal is defeated, then another Casino will show up somewhere else. We need to fight a positive battle, not give in and give up!

  2. It is possible that another casino proposal will arise over time if this proposal is defeated however have you considered that the threat of a casino on the south surrey native land has been intentionally amplified to get the reaction that you have expressed here? I have lived in South Surrey since 1983 and have not once heard any talks of a casino being built there until now. It all seems too convenient to me. If I were to read between the lines it sounds to me that the tribe leaders are saying “we oppose the casino because we like having the option of maybe building one someday” not “we oppose the casino because if this proposal is defeated we have 100 million dollars ready to start building one tomorrow”. If, and I do say ‘if’ very lightly, a casino is build on the South Surrey native land it will likely be much smaller, less tempting, less accessible, and overall have much less impact on the community than a highway, resort style casino.

  3. The argument about tobacco and alcohol being analogous to gambling doesn’t hold water.
    During prohibition and in states where tobacco wasn’t sold, organized crime moved in with violence and other ills. Casinos, on the other hand, once legalized, brought in organized crime, money-laundering, loan-sharking, violence and hazards to social, mental and physical health. Yes, all three activities (drinking, smoking and gambling) are health hazards, but crime only ramps up in one when it’s legalized, and that’s gambling.

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