There’s a war of words brewing between Delta and Richmond, and it concerns a possible new Casino.
Back in November, the BC Lottery Corporation identified Delta as the possible home for a new gambling facility.
But when it asked for stakeholder feedback, it got a letter from neighbouring Richmond fighting the idea.
That has some in Delta hopping mad.
LISTEN: Delta Councillor Bruce McDonald on the Delta Casino proposal
The key passage from letter from Richmond to the BCLC reads as follows:
“The City of Richmond is opposed to any casino south of the Fraser River, and the City of Richmond should be fully consulted and given at least 90 days to respond to any future gaming control act and local government act notices regarding the proposed casino.”
Delta Councillor Bruce McDonald says that’s inappropriate, and that Richmond should be minding its own business.
“I have never… I’ve been on Delta Council since 1988 and I have never seen a community lobby a government control agency to stop an adjacent community from obtaining a private business.”
He says Delta isn’t actually pushing for a casino, but that a private company has expressed interest in developing something at the site of an old hotel and the city is willing to explore the idea.
But he says Richmond is butting in because it’s trying to protect revenue from its own casino.
“Where does that kind of thing stop? This is not altruistic, this is a situation where Richmond has obtained for many many years a significant revenue from the River Rock, and they don’t want competition.”
LISTEN: Richmond Councillor Carol Day says there’s nothing wrong with her city weighing in
But Richmond says it’s not about being greedy, just smart business.
Richmond Councillor Carol Day says putting two casinos close together like Delta is proposing would simply sink both of them.
“The worst thing you can do is put too many of the same type of businesses too close together, and then nobody is successful. It doesn’t make logical sense to have another Casino so close the Richmond River Rock and the Queensborough Starlight.”
Day argues Richmond was bound to speak up by the BCLC’s own regulations, which require it to get feedback from any municipality within 5 km of the proposed casino.
And she says the BCLC isn’t set on Delta, but rather is shopping around the region.
“We want our friends in Delta to be successful. If they decide to open a casino, why would they deliberately put it in a place where it potentially will not be successful?”
Day says the proposed facility is actually one being relocated from Newton, not so far away from the proposed new site – and she says keeping it too close could simply repeat the problems that sank that location.