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Hawaiian Gardens Casino Renovations on Track

By Tammye McDuff

Gerard Lara, Project Manager for Hawaiian Gardens Casino and the new addition of the Garden Gaming House presented the City Council with a progress report at its regular meeting this past Tuesday.

“Over the past 15 months I have been diligently working with the city’s Development Department to obtain the appropriate permits and applications and outside agency’s approval. It has been challenging at times, but we are wrapping things up and as you can see the Casino is moving right along,” opened Lara.

Hawaiian Gardens Casino renovations and additions are taking the original 59,000 square foot to over three times its size to 202,000 square feet. Currently there will be 154, 000 square feet on the first floor with the additional 48,000 square feet on the second floor. The result will be, in terms of square footage, one of the largest card rooms in California. At present, the casino employs about 1,600 people, and with the expansion, projected to hire 300 to 400 additional employees.

The first floor will house the gaming floor; facility operations; restaurant and kitchen, while the second story will house a banquet and tournament hall. Lara states “We are receiving many comments and compliments from our patrons. This casino will be considerably bigger and significantly better.”

Currently the project is working on structural steel placement, plumbing up and welding all frames. Metal decking is underway and 95% of underground utilities have been set in place. Footings are being poured and concrete slab on grade December 1st. “We hope to begin putting up drywall the first quarter of 2015. We are schedule be completely finished and functional by the first quarter of 2016,” comments Lara “Provided we don’t have a wet winter, things are looking good and we are right on schedule.”

The existing building is scheduled to be in operation, hosting games like poker, blackjack and pai gow until the new building, planned to enclose about 202,000 square feet of space, is ready for business.

The casino is the most significant business in the city of Hawaiian Gardens, which is, by area, the smallest city in Los Angeles County. Hawaiian Gardens has 0.9 square miles in land area and a population of just under 14,300 people. Hawaiian Gardens’ current budget projects collections of nearly $14.5 million in general revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Hawaiian Gardens Casino was founded by Dr. Irving Moskowitz. His wife, Cherna, is President of the casino and the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation. The Moskowitz Foundation was established in 1968 by Dr. Irving Moskowitz to help people in need regardless of race, creed, politics or religion. One of the Foundation’s principal beneficiaries is The City of Hawaiian Gardens, where the Foundation operates a state-legislated Bingo Club. Moskowitz believes that by concentrating many efforts in one small community, a significant benefit will be felt by all.

Proceeds from the Bingo Club benefit the residents and social organizations such as Head Start and The United Community Group, and through the Foundation’s direct support of the Hawaiian Gardens Food Bank, children’s athletic programs, scholarship awards, health care programs, and educational initiatives.