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TO SURREY CITY COUNCIL RE: NEWTON BINGO HALL We understand the $25 million to redevelop the current Newton Country Bingo Hall into a Community Gaming Center will include an addition of up to 150 slot machines and that this is in direct violation of a key principle of Surrey's gaming policy "e;Gaming in Surrey is to remain restricted and is only to be considered if it is part of a "cluster of tourism" type facility, which is regional/provincial in scope". Acknowledgment of the following research and circumstances serves to warn the City and its residents of the possible problematic social outcomes from gambling. * A research report from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2008 entitled, "A national study of neighborhood access to gambling opportunities and individual gambling behavior , conclude that "Neighborhood access to opportunities for gambling is related to gambling and problem gambling behaviour and contributes substantially to neighborhood inequalities in gambling over and above- individual characteristics." * Research reported in The Vancouver Sun,(27 September 2008 p.A11) that "While the richest households are most likely to gamble and spend the most money gambling, the poorest households spend the largest slice of their income on games of chance. Some studies have shown that poorer families spend a higher portion of their income than do wealthy families." * The Newton Community sustains nearly 50% of Surrey's non-market affordable housing, i.e. housing for low income families and at risk individuals. * A Gaming Center is a BC Lottery Corporation controlled establishment and as such will be competing in the community for all available entertainment dollars bringing concern that there will be a shift of "family" entertainment spending to "adult" entertainment spending in a family oriented community. Therefore, we the undersigned, oppose the application to upgrade the Newton Country Bingo Hall if it involves slot machines and/or any other gambling devices.




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