Cable Bridge Casino shuts itself down

By Kathy Korengel, Herald staff writerMarch 4, 2011 

KENNEWICK -- The Cable Bridge Casino, which the city of Kennewick is suing for unpaid gambling taxes, has closed its doors.

But another business already has applied for a gambling license at the same location at 101 S. Gum St.

An attorney for the casino e-mailed Kennewick City Attorney Lisa Beaton Wednesday saying that its owners decided not to appeal a city decision to revoke the casino's business license.

Attorney George Telquist also told Beaton the casino had closed its doors as of Sunday, Beaton said.

Patrick Jutz of Walla Walla, who co-owned the business, did not return a call for comment by Thursday evening.

A city official delivered a notice that stated the city planned to revoke the casino's business license Feb. 4. The city had taken action after reportedly working with the casino pay off gambling taxes owed since sometime in 2008, Beaton has said.

On Nov. 30, the city filed suit against the casino, alleging it owed the city about $345,000.

That included back gambling taxes, plus penalties and interest. The city imposes a 10 percent tax on gross receipts of cardrooms, pull tabs and punch cards.

Additionally, in cases of late payment, the city charges a 50 percent penalty plus interest.

The city also had asked the Washington State Gambling Commission to revoke the Cable Bridge Casino's gambling license.

An administrative law judge issued an order to that effect Tuesday, said Susan Arland, spokeswoman for the state Gambling Commission.

According to a note on the casino door, it has closed to remodel.

The note said the casino plans to reopen under new management in April.

According to Arland, a Kennewick-based company named Lucky Bridge LLC applied Nov. 29 for cardroom and punch board/pull tab licenses at the same site on the corner of Gum Street and First Avenue.

The application stated the business would be called Lucky Bridge Casino.

The state Gambling Commission has not yet finished processing the applications, Arland said.

Prima Voss was listed as a member of Lucky Bridge LLC on the application, Arland said. Voss did not return a call for comment by Thursday evening.

The status of Cable Bridge Casino's former employees is unclear.

The business stated it had 65 employees when its owners applied for a business license renewal Feb. 8, 2010, according to city records.

Michelle Mann, executive director of Work Source Columbia Basin, said local Work Source offices have not seen an influx of former Cable Bridge Casino employees applying for unemployment benefits.

Although Cable Bridge Casino has closed its doors, the city will continue to pursue its lawsuit against the owners, Beaton said.

She said the city likely will amend its suit to include additional back taxes the city claims the casino owes based on gambling receipts from the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of this year.

Beaton also said Cable Bridge Casino owners have filed a court document denying all charges brought in the city's lawsuit.

* Kathy Korengel: 509-582-1541; kkorengel@tricityherald.com

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