Surrey casino creates a stir because . . . residents are kind of into it

When a proposed casino breaks its first headline, you know others will follow. So will public consultations and blog posts and statements from developers and the city.

Just two meetings away from the casino development taking full swing, a proposed South Surrey casino is sweeping across headlines and twitter feeds right now.

It’s estimated to bring in $6 million annually, a dollar amount that should help pay off the city’s $97 million new City Hall and the casino itself, estimated to cost $100 million.

But the first question that comes to my mind is, are people going to fight this? The concerns of crime and gambling addiction have arisen around casino discussions before.

But the answer may not follow Vancouver footsteps when a Vancouver casino was rejected April 2011 after Mayor Gregor Robertson decided the risks outweighed the benefits.

Surrey’s casino saga is unfolding with opposition and support on both ends.

Metro Vancouver says South Surrey Ratepayers Association is requesting an inquiry on the proposal’s process, saying this is too much, too fast. They say a referendum is needed.

Meanwhile, the Surrey Leader reports that support seems to outweigh opposition.

So, what’s happening here? Casino’s are big projects that bring in a lot of revenue, but evoke the fear of citizens. It’s a big decision, that’s for sure.

So, is Surrey moving along too quickly for the size of this project? How could the developers and the city have done a better job at getting people involved from the start (if that’s what you think needed to be done)?

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