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BREAKING: L.A. County Casinos Given Go-Ahead to Open Friday June 19 at 6 AM

BY BRIAN HEWS • June 17, 2020

Hews Media Group has learned that health officials have given casinos Los Angeles County the go ahead to reopen starting this Friday at 6 AM.

The news will be welcomed relief to employees of the casinos as well as the cities that rely on the casinos for revenue.

In late May, six card clubs sent a reopening proposal to Newsom; that included the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, the Bicycle Club in Bell Gardens, the Commerce Casino in Commerce, Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Hustler, and Crystal Casinos.

The clubs proposed a comprehensive 20-page Health and Sanitation program developed after consulting all available information and guidance from the CDC and state and local public health agencies and in collaboration with medical experts from UCLA and USC.

The plan included:

  • Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of all areas with increased focus on high touch areas including the chairs and gaming tables with those areas wiped with a sanitizing wipe before and after each player sits down.
  • Enhanced air filtration to filter out virus particulates.
  • Hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes will be required prior to entering and upon exiting a gaming table and all tables will be wiped when a player exits.
  • Signage regarding the proper health precautions reminding everyone to wash/sanitize their hands and practice physical distancing including elevators; markers will designate where to stand when queueing.
  • Cards, chips and other gaming equipment will be cleaned and sanitized or disposed of when they are returned from a gaming table and employees will sanitize shared gaming areas on a regular and frequent basis.
  • All administrative areas will follow the health and sanitizing protocols.
  • Physical barriers will be utilized in areas where six feet of social distancing is not feasible. Valet services, transportation services and banquet services have been suspended. Food and beverage services will follow the state’s guidelines for restaurants.
  • Finally, all employees will be trained on the mandatory cleaning and sanitizing protocols, on the proper donning, use and disposal of PPE, and how to recognize and report any concerns regarding individuals who may be exhibiting symptoms.

Juan Garza, Bellflower Mayor and executive director of the California Cities for Self Reliance that advocates for L.A. County casinos told HMG-LCCN, “We are grateful for Governor Newsom’s vote of confidence that our cardrooms in Los Angeles County can re-open safely.  We want to safely get our over 10,000 hard-working employees in Los Angeles County back to work, and to safely re-start these local economic engines that benefit our member cities and so many other cities in our region.”

The March closures cost over 10,000 jobs and millions in tax revenue and philanthropic dollars in the L.A. area.

According to a study by the California Gaming Association,card rooms statewide generated $1.6 billion in wages and benefits, accounted for over 32,000 jobs and $500 million in state and local taxes, and contributed more than $2 billion in economic benefits.

In Hawaiian Gardens alone, the Gardens Casino contributes over $1 million per month, 74% of the city’s revenue; the city of Bell Gardens generates approximately $13 million from their partnership with the Bicycle Hotel & Casino, which is 44% of the General Fund; Commerce City Manager Edgar Cisneros recently told HMG-LCCN that the Commerce Casino generates over $2 million per month for the city.

The City of Gardena is losing approximately $800,000 in direct revenue from its card room and $10,000 a month in sales tax revenue.  In Inglewood, the city is losing $500,000 a month in revenue generated from Hollywood Park Casino.

Keith Sharp, general counsel for the Gardens Casino told HMG,  “Governor Newsom again exhibited his strong leadership throughout this pandemic by issuing a comprehensive and thoughtful set of card room reopening guidelines. We are fully prepared to do so and to resume supporting our local communities which have been so severely devastated by the financial losses caused by this pandemic.”

 

 

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One Response to BREAKING: L.A. County Casinos Given Go-Ahead to Open Friday June 19 at 6 AM

  1. Diana Lizeth Amaro Reply

    June 24, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Does this mean the city hall wont be taking money from working families now. The union workers dont want to lose jobs when all the city hall councilmen are comfortable. My family is voting them out in November.

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