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Washington cardrooms hit by weak economy

9 May 2008

WASHINGTON -- As reported by the Columbian: "La Center's four cardrooms, after beginning to rebound from the statewide smoking ban that took effect in 2006, now could be feeling the sting of a weak economy.

"Gambling revenues at the cardrooms, the primary employers and taxpayers in one of Clark County's smallest city, were down 5 percent for the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2007.

"The four cardrooms brought in $8.4 million in the first quarter, based on the city's 10 percent gambling tax.

"...The Last Frontier and New Phoenix are the state's two top-grossing cardrooms. La Center's other two cardrooms, the Palace and Chips, rank fifth and sixth for gambling revenues among 82 house-bankrolled cardrooms statewide.

"...In November 2005, voters approved a statewide measure that prohibits smoking in public buildings and within 25 feet of doors, ventilation intakes and open windows.

"In 2006, revenues at La Center's four cardrooms were down 10 percent from the previous year. Gambling revenues rebounded slightly in 2007, up 4 percent from the previous year, but they were almost $2.5 million lower than pre-smoking ban levels..."

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