Useful Links

City of Surrey’s info page on the proposed South Surrey Casino: http://www.surrey.ca/12529.aspx

The updated studies for the South Surrey Casino:

Gateway Casino’s webpage: http://southsurreyentertainment.com/

Contact Diane Watts and City Council directly via email and tell them how you feel: http://www.surrey.ca/city-government/2999.aspx

NoCasinoToronto site is full of information and citations from research papers to back up their claims: http://nocasinotoronto.com. Check out Studies and Stats.

VancouverNotVegas site full of great tips and insights: vancouvernotvegas.ca

Links regarding Casinos and Organized Crime:

See the links below for newspaper articles documenting the crime that occurs around Casinos in places like Richmond:

The testimony of Professor Robert Goodman, a non-partisan expert on gambling, economics and urban design on Casinos and how they attract crime and criminals into the neighborhood.
http://vancouvernotvegas.ca/2011/02/gambling-expert-robert-goodman/

3 thoughts on “Useful Links

  1. Dear Mayor Watts,

    I realize that municipal government has long been starved for revenue, while footing the bill for an ever higher proportion of services. However, I do not think this development will bring us any closer to meeting the gap, and maybe farther away, in what matters most.

    We got mega malls, instead of a focused town centre. Now this is supposed to be the cure?

    We had a treasure here. we still do, in many ways. However, it is being bulldozed away, piecemeal.

    The principle of Ecodensity is to concentrate new population together with transportation and amenities, so as to avoid sprawl, maintaining the precious and rapidly diminishing unpaved land base for farming, parks, watersheds, and just natural land for the natural world we claim to cherish. Most of us choose to live in White Rock / South Surrey because is has (or had) a good balance between these priceless assets, and convenient local amenities in a real small town and neighbourhood village setting. We didn’t choose to live in Burnaby, or Richmond, or Mississauga. Yet that is the style of development what we are getting, in spite of years of planning input from residents of our cherished neighbourhoods.

    Where do we move to, now that we are once again denied the stability of enduring neighbourhoods and relationships? Those approaching, or already retired can move away to some still (for now) untouched Shangri-La . But you may leave behind children, grandchildren, old friends, and all the life and energy you have invested in your home town. And in 5 or 10 years, if your cottage in the country is too far from hospitals and bus lines, you might be looking to get back to an area like this.

    The proponents entice us with the estimate of $6,000,000 a year in tax generation. How much of the proposal needs to be complete and operating to generate that number? And will they be able to negotiate that tax bill lower in future if revenue disappoints? Not impossible, as the battle for tourist, recreational and convention dollars is getting pretty aggressive between the many choices in greater Vancouver. Why would big-spending visitors choose the ‘Outlet Mall’ version of convention and entertainment centres over the appeal of downtown Vancouver, or airport and city convenience in Richmond?

    Then, what are the real costs to Surrey residents over time?

    No brainers are: Another Highway 99 interchange, or maybe two, as 8th Avenue will be overwhelmed. Direct rapid transit to Vancouver and Surrey Central, as our main routes are very often at gridlock already.
    Don’t hold your breath to get these things in any reasonable time frame. Too much existing infrastructure is crumbling and in need of replacement.

    A wish for a convention centre is no argument for an attached casino. To mince the social costs is naive. Millions of dollars sound impressive until you measure them against the downside.

    When was the last time we enjoyed a local police presence at a level that actually deterred any crime? They are stretched so thin that they seldom show up for break-ins or traffic accidents unless injuries occur. They must spend the bulk of their time responding to endless crises generated by an ever growing population practicing less than community-friendly lifestyles. A casino is by nature a strong attractant for drug dealers, loan sharks and other fringe economy business folk, and a training ground for new recruits. Do we really need more of this? Do we think that unsavoury behaviour will be confined to the casino grounds? Actually, they have better security than most of us ever will. At the moment, cross border visitors looking for outside-the-law thrills are mainly drawn past South Surrey to various metro destinations. However, Ocean Park will be just along Beach Drive in a direct line from this monster casino.

    Not just the casino, a development of this size is planned to draw thousands of people daily. Our wonderful but overstretched Peace Arch Hospital cannot possibly handle the extra non-resident patient load, on top of our already rapidly increasing population. The horror stories coming out of the overwhelmed hospitals in other areas might give warning.

    Surrey Council has wisely given Whalley a Sky Train route, a university, and all kinds of programs and government money invested for a much needed cleanup. South Surrey students face an endless, complicated transit, or must have a car to get to any college or university. Never mind, it will be easy to get a casino job, if not an education.

    There is a fine balance to be had between accepting that a certain amount of ‘vice’ is going to be attractive to most of us at some point in our lives, and to a segment of society all the time, and between actually encouraging those ‘leisure activities’ over more societally beneficial options. For budget-strapped governments, it can be a slippery slope to avoid developing a heavy dependency on ‘sin’ taxes. How do you retain the gumption to regulate and police what you need ever more of?

    I am in no way arguing against any adult individuals’s right to indulge in the recreation of his choice, unless and until it begins to affect others. Gamble to your heart’s content, but please just don’t inflict the costs on me, my family and our society. How much tax money will it take to restore the quality of life we stand to lose? Maybe we should be think carefully about what we really want here, before we too need a cleanup.

    A. Wilson
    Surrey, BC V3S 9N4

    • Great letter Alisa. I hope you sent it to the Mayor! This comment is worth posting, do you mind if I post it on the main page and on the Facebook page?

      Great job and thanks for posting your letter!
      Scott Kristjanson.

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