Sunday, October 08, 2006

Where have all the poker rooms gone?

After dropping $100 at the $3/$6 tables at Happy Days last weekend, I was looking for somewhere else to play last night. I'd seen an ad in the Western Gambling News two months ago for the Torch Lite casino, which is in Lakewood on Pacific Highway near the new fire station. It was vacant. This wasn't very surprising, since I had never heard about them, other than their one ad, and from the outside, it wasn't clear that there actually was a card room.

Next, heading north, I stopped by Bowlero Lanes' casino. Two empty poker tables. No players.

Heading further north, to 84th Street, I stopped by Chips Casino, which doesn't offer poker, but the new Palace Casino next door does: $3/$6, $4/$8, $8/$16, and Omaha. The waiting list for $3/$6 was at least 15 people. I put my name on the list, sat around for a while, and when the list wasn't moving, went across the freeway to Silver Dollar.

It's closed. Lights off. Nobody home.

I then went up the freeway a couple exits to Rising Dragon. Closed.

Then, up to 6th Avenue's Silver Dollar. Closed.

Last minicasinos finally fold Lengthy fight ends with quiet closure of three Tacoma properties

JASON HAGEY; The News Tribune
Published: October 7th, 2006 01:00 AM

After fighting for years to stay in business, the owners of Tacoma’s three remaining minicasinos have quietly closed their doors following the defeat of last month’s ballot initiative aimed at overturning a city-imposed casino ban.

Michael Purdy, former general manager of two Silver Dollar casinos and the leader of a group that brought legal action against the city, said Friday that a few of the approximately 285 employees at the two locations found jobs at other Silver Dollar casinos in Washington. The rest, like him, are looking for work.

Although he’s disappointed by the outcome of the election, Purdy said he accepts the decision of the voters. Purdy said his group, called the Associated Casino Employees for Survival, agreed with casino ownership that if voters rejected the initiative, they should shut down.

“It’s not worth beating a dead horse,” he said, even if it wasn’t an overwhelming “no” vote and a low election turnout.

Initiative 1 received 15,372 no votes, or 53 percent, and 13,661 yes votes, or 47 percent.

I guess the Washington State Brick and Mortar Casino Protection Act of 2006 didn't help them at all.

Sigh. Up Pearl Steet, into Ruston, stopping at the Point Defiance Casino. Two tables: $4/$8 and Omaha, close to full, but with immediate seating. I'm still chicken to play live $4/$8, so I left there, drove out of Ruston through the tunnel, out past where Luciano's used to be, and while I briefly considered heading north into Fife to check out Freddy's club, it was about midnight, and I knew Happy Days would be starting the signup for their 2:00 a.m. tournament fairly soon. Home freak home, I guess.

More on my results there in my next posting.

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