Gateway casino

More favour South Surrey casino than oppose it, Gateway says

Company releases preliminary feedback results from public information meeting

So far, supporters of a proposed South Surrey casino are outnumbering opponents, according to the company that hopes to build a $100-million complex at 10 Avenue and 168 Street.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Wednesday released preliminary figures from a company-sponsored information meeting the previous week.

Of the 375 people who attended the Nov. 7 event at Hazelmere Golf Course, 163 turned in completed feedback forms.

Gateway said slightly more than half were supporters – people who wrote that they liked the amenities the entertainment complex would bring including the casino, and were happy about the economic benefits, such as the jobs that would be created.

The remaining responses were divided between people who were adamantly opposed and those who appeared neutral but had questions about the project.

Opponents were concerned about traffic, the location and gambling, and more than one complained there wasn’t sufficient consultation with residents.

A exact breakdown of responses was not available.

Gateway also released statistics for the company website www.southsurreyentertainment.com.

Close to 400 people had visited the site since it went online a week ago, recording 1,700 page views, downloading over 400 documents and filling out about 20 online comment forms.

The company has added a button that visitors can click to show support.

Gayeway promises all comments submitted to the site by Friday, Nov.16 will be included in a report to the City of Surrey summarizing the company’s public information efforts.

“However, the site will remain active indefinitely, and we will continue to collect your feedback as the proposal moves through the public consultation process,” a website message adds.

The site includes links to news coverage of the project, images of the design and various documents outlining the Gateway arguments in favour.

Gateway and the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC), which regulates gaming, say the complex would produce $6 million in revenues annually for the City of Surrey.

Preliminary designs call for a 60,000-sq.-ft. gaming floor, 800-seat theatre, 27,000-sq.-ft. convention and entertainment zone, a 200-room, four-star hotel, four restaurants and three lounges.

The facility would occupy 18 acres of a 25-acre site.

BCLC has suggested the casino, if approved by the city, could be open as soon as late 2014.