Friday, July 07, 2006

Mail Tribune Online Edition - Casinos bring big bucks, but some business owners aren't thrilled - July 3, 2006

Mail Tribune Online Edition - Casinos bring big bucks, but some business owners aren't thrilled - July 3, 2006: "Casinos bring big bucks, but some business owners aren't thrilled
Many small businesses fear large casinos will put them out of business permanently

By MICHAEL ANDERSEN
The Associated Press
KELSO, Wash. � A gaming floor bigger than a Wal-Mart? Dozens of video lottery machines? An adjoining 250-room hotel? Maybe even free food and smoking while you gamble?
And all of it 30 minutes south of Kelso?
Just tell Jim Cunningham when.
'The casinos in this town,' Cunningham grumbled, 'they're not real casinos. They're cardrooms.'
Hunched in Kelso's Highlander Lounge next to a 25-cent video bowling game, Cunningham said he isn't a big gambler. But he'd definitely visit a casino like that from time to time, he said. It'd be a better deal for his money than playing pull-tabs in a local bar.
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Words like those strike fear in the hearts of some local business owners. If the federal government approves the Cowlitz Indians' proposal for a reservation and casino/hotel/restaurant complex near La Center, they say other gambling venues � even some bars, who draw a tidy profit from pull-tabs � may as well cash in their chips."
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