Northwest NEWS

January 18, 1999

Local News

Sims calls for ban on new card rooms

   SEATTLE--King County Executive Ron Sims is expected to propose banning new card rooms in unincorporated King County at a press conference this Tuesday.

   According to a draft press release, Sims will send an ordinance to the County Council that would prohibit card rooms from opening in regional business and community business zones, which include areas south of Woodinville and between Bothell and Kenmore. "Card rooms in other areas have led to crime, reduced property values, and businesses leaving the neighborhoods," said Sims. "This is not the type of environment we want to encourage in King County."

   A 1997 state law allows businesses to offer up to 15 tables for house-backed social card games like poker and blackjack, and bets up to $100. Ten businesses in King County have been licensed by the state to do so, and another 27 license applications have been filed. One establishment, and one application, are in unincorporated King County, though neither are in this area, according to county officials.

   The public will have a chance to comment on Sims' proposal. There will be a public meeting Feb. 3 at Highline High School, 225 S. 152nd in Burien, from 7 to 9 p.m. Letters can be sent to Lori Grant, King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Ave., Seattle, WA 98104. Comments will also be taken by e-mail at cardrooms@metrokc.gov.