Proposed Delta Casino May Not Help City Budget Due to Tax Cut
The share of gaming revenue is a tempting aspect of every new casino offer, as cities across Canada receive millions of dollars per year from all gambling operations within their borders. Delta, British Columbia, is currently considering a new CA$70 million casino complex with hotels, restaurants and convention spaces. But despite the great excitement, the proposed casino may not help the city’s budget, as it is at least a facility eligible for tax breaks.
The project will create up to 700 jobs and pay the city between $2.5 million and $3 million annually, according to estimates by the British Columbia Lottery Company (BCLC). The complex will require a $70 million investment, and casino developer Gateway Casino and Entertainment Ltd. said its gambling services will include 500 to 600 slot machines and 24 gaming tables. The Casino and hotel complex is currently being built at the intersection of the highway, and is located at Delta Town 11.
Last week, the city council approved preliminary zoning applications for the new facility. A public hearing is scheduled for May 1, with a third reading and many other procedures and permits scheduled by the city council. But the city is expected to give business a green light for one major reason: revenue will flow into the city. But it’s not that simple. The zoning application approved last week turned out to be within the special economic incentive zone.
This area is determined by the Delta Industrial Tourism Promotion Tax Reduction Program, which accounts for a large portion of the city, and the Delta Industrial Tourism Economic Investment Promotion Zone can receive property tax cuts and local government fees if certain requirements are met.
Special tax breaks for gateway casinos
Under the above tax reduction system, the target project can receive up to 60% reduction, including construction permit fees, piping permit fees, and land use application fees, and property tax can be frozen for up to five years if it meets one of four criteria: zoning as a high value-.
If Delta’s proposed gateway casino is approved, construction should begin by the end of the year. If the project is tax-free, property taxes will be frozen to 2018 levels for up to five years. So the casino pays $157,000 a year. Tax benefits for developers could reach up to $450,000 after construction is completed. Gateways can save up to $265,000 in municipal fees.
Meanwhile, the BCLC says the city of Delta will receive 10% of the net income going to the province. According to estimates, this would be about $2.5 million to $3 million in annual income from winning casinos. This may sound like a fair deal, but casinos will probably enjoy annual savings of up to $500,000 over the first three to five years. This may not be profitable, especially given the concerns of ordinary people in cities, such as increased gambling addiction rates.