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Bets are off at Antioch

8 March 2001

Last week, the Antioch City Council rejected a proposal to bring a luxury hotel and casino to the city’s waterfront area. Al Cianfichi and his partner Paul Shea, who own Kelly’s Cardroom in downtown Antioch, proposed the plan. They were hoping to gain approvals for a 200-room, five-star hotel and a Las Vegas-style gambling room. Cianfichi and Shea attempted to sell the idea to the council by suggesting that the project would be a goldmine, becoming a stop on a San Francisco-Yosemite-Los Angeles circuit for Asian tourists. The city council was not so convinced about the profitability of the proposal, rejecting the plan 4-to-1, saying it was not right for the city. Cianfichi and Shea had also requested that the council lend its support to a petition seeking to put Las Vegas-style gambling on a statewide ballot. Cianfichi has been actively lobbying the pro-gaming cause. As a result of his efforts, Antioch was added to the list of 12 cities that would be allowed to engage in a broad range of gambling games such as Roulette, craps and slots. In response, the council members approved a motion to remove the city from the ballot initiative drive, thus clearly stating their standpoint on the issue.

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