Toll bridge to replace George Massey Tunnel linked to prospective casino in Delta

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      A new toll bridge to Delta will not only make it easy to drive to the colossal Tsawwassen Mills shopping mall opening this year.

      The 10-lane bridge replacement to the George Massey Tunnel will also make it easier for people to go and gamble at a potential casino in Delta.

      Last Monday (June 27), Delta council voted to submit an expression of interest to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) to host a gaming facility, a move that is connected to the $3.5-billion future bridge.

      In a report to council, chief administrative officer George Harvie indicated that a suitable site is the Delta Town & Country Inn on Highway 17A.

      Harvie explained that the location “offers excellent transportation accessibility to people from within and outside of Delta via major transportation corridors”.

      “With the proposed replacement of the George Massey Tunnel with a bridge, access will only be enhanced,” Harvie stated.

      According to Harvie, the Delta Town & Country Inn property “holds the potential for a significant entertainment complex that could act as a significant tourist attraction to the tens of thousands of vehicles passing along the adjacent major transportation corridors each day”.

      Harvie also informed council that the owner of the Delta Town & Country Inn is willing to have the property reviewed as a potential location for a gaming facility.

      In a letter to Mayor Lois Jackson, Ron Toigo of Shato Holdings wrote that the “site may be ideal for such a facility”.

      According to Togio, his company wants to be “included in the conversation” about a prospective gaming facility in Delta.

      In his report to council, Harvie included a copy of a proposed expression of interest to BCLC.

      The proposed expression of interest also mentioned the bridge replacement to the George Massey Tunnel.

      Referring to the Delta Town & Country Inn, the document states: “This property is physically removed from Delta's residential areas, is accessible from the Provincial highway network, and is ideally located adjacent to the forthcoming bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel.”

      The document notes that the Highway 99 corridor through the George Massey Tunnel is used by more than 80,000 vehicles per day.

      “Once the new bridge and associated highway improvements are complete, this corridor will offer unimpeded, direct access to a new gaming facility entertainment complex from all points both south and north of the Fraser River,” the document states.

      It adds: “The highway improvements and potential location at the Delta Town & Country Inn property would also ensure that local residential communities would see negligible traffic impacts from a new gaming facility entertainment complex.”

      Based on BCLC estimates cited by Harvie, Delta may get between $1.5 million to $3 million a year as its share from gambling revenues.