A controversial casino has been rejected in Surrey, B.C., after councillors voted 5 to 4 against the project that pitted residents aiming to preserve a rural area against those promoting an economic boost for a booming city.
The vote early Saturday came after a contentious public hearing where hundreds of residents rallied for or against the proposed $100-million project that was slated to include a hotel and conference centre.
Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. wanted to move a temporary gaming licence it had for a much smaller facility elsewhere in the city to a new complex that would include a hotel and convention centre in south Surrey.
The project was also backed by the BC Lottery Corp., which urged the city to approve the licence.
Residents said the mega-entertainment complex would invite crime and traffic congestion to their neighbourhood.
Proponents said the facility would have provided jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for the fastest-growing city in B.C.