New BC casino resort in Delta gets final approval from BCLC.
Month after month, question after question, delay after delay… That’s the typical scenario whenever a private company seeks to build a new casino anywhere in British Columbia—anywhere in Canada, for that matter. There’s an endless strain of red tape attached. Municipal debate, zoning by-law amendments, city approval, disputes with neighboring cities. It can take many months, if not years, just to get the necessary signatures to put a shovel in the ground.
That’s exactly what Gateway Casino & Entertainment and the people of Delta have experienced since 2016. This week, the waiting and wondering are finally over. Cascades Casino Delta will be coming to the intersection of Highways 99 and 17A, near the Massey Tunnel. Odds are, the total construction time will be less than the time it took to get from RFI to Approved.
BCLC Approves New BC Casino Resort in Delta
The British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC), regulator of all things gambling related in the province, has the final say on the matter. A BCLC press release went live on Tuesday, confirming that the Cascades Casino Delta has received their approval.
Regulators said they put a great deal of research and consideration into the process, conducting “extensive reviews of the market opportunity, business case, health impacts and municipal approval process to ensure that the project meets legislated requirements under the Gaming Control Act.”
BCLC also had to consider an objection from the neighboring city of Richmond; home to the province’s largest gambling destination, the River Rock Resort and Casino. In May of 2018, when the City of Delta gave Gateway the green light on the project, City Council was required to notify adjacent municipalities. If any were to object, the claims would have to be reviewed by BCLC. And of course, Richmond did object.
Their objection related to numerous suggested side effects, including all the usual concerns of increased crime, traffic and transportation issues. BCLC had the matter investigated, concluding that there was no substantive evidence to back up their claims. Having dismissed the objection on October 15, 2018, BCLC saw no other reason not to move forward with the approval process.
Cascades Casino Delta Coming in 2020
With this last obstacle out of the way, Gateway Casinos hopes to get shovels in the ground in early 2019. The project will include the construction of a hotel, restaurants, meeting space and a moderate-size casino. The gaming floor is authorized to provide 500 slot machines, an assortment of 24 live dealer table games, and as many as 6 electronic table games.
The new BC casino resort will replace the old Newton Community Gaming Centre, which closed its doors for the last time in April of this year. Cascades Delta Casino is the product of a 2-year search to relocate that facility. Following an Expression of Interest in the region south of the Fraser River. The city of Delta showed interest, as did Gateway Casinos in the former property of the Delta Town & Country Inn.
On behalf of the Canadian casino corporation, Gateway CEO Tony Santo said, “We look forward to bringing this state of-the-art entertainment destination to such a rapidly growing and dynamic community. Through our investment of $70 million in Delta we will bring up to 700 new jobs and careers to the area and significant economic spin-offs during the construction and beyond.”
If all goes as planned, Gateway hopes to host the grand opening celebration of the new Delta casino in mid-2020.