Had a recent legislative bill passed, the prospects of gambling expansion state-wide were likely. This last November members of the Lakewood council and city staff attended the regional meeting of the Association of Washington Cities and anticipated the latter’s support of “local control over gambling” at the legislature. But House Bill 2873 wasn’t about Lakewood gaining control over gambling. It was rather about giving gambling control.
I testified against this bill before the House Labor and Commerce Committee this past Wednesday. The bill had four major flaws. One was the 10-year-no-repeal rule. The bill would have tied the city’s hands while giving a free-hand to the casinos for an entire decade. A second reiterated the State Gambling Commission as having sole authority to change the scope of a gambling license. And given recent proposals for expanded gambling before that Commission, as well as intentions by representatives of the casinos to reintroduce slots, the city would have had no say in these matters. Still a third provision of the bill would have allowed existing casinos to relocate within the city. Continue Reading
Encourage your Lakewood City Council and state representatives to kill House Bill 2873. This bill would permit Lakewood to limit casinos but at the same time prevent the council from repealing the law for ten years. HB 2873 will receive a public hearing before the House Labor and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 1:30 p.m. You can read the entirety of the bill at the link. Contacts for council and state representatives are listed at the end of this letter. Continue Reading
On December 4, 2009 the board of the Association of Washington Cities, AWC, will adopt the final package for its 2010 legislative agenda. Lakewood leadership continues to lobby the AWC to support the issue of local control over gambling. But efforts to that end in the legislature have always failed in the past. For a number of good reasons.
In January, 2007, lobbyists for the AWC and the minicasinos combined efforts, unsuccessfully, to win state support for a bill that effectively would cut a deal with jurisdictions to stop banning casinos altogether and instead create gambling-zones. A similar bill, HB 2162, failed to move out of committee just this last 2009 session. Continue Reading