A Kennewick casino and restaurant has called it quits.
Lucky Bridge Casino, 101 S. Gum St., closed Thursday, according to a notice posted by management at the entrance.
Manager Raelynn Gallegos cited financial struggles, including “lease problems” with the casino and restaurant’s 7,500-square-foot building as well as rising operational costs for the closure.
Employees will be paid through their last day of work, with paychecks available from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, she wrote.
“We regret that closure has become necessary even though we have made significant progress over the past nearly 3 years,” she wrote.
While little is known, the choice to close was apparently a business decision by Lucky Bridge and its Miami-based owner, T.E.A.M. Hospitality Management.
Owner Robert B. Sturges did not return a voice mail message and the company’s posted email address was not operational.
But Lucky Bridge was apparently in good standing with regulators.
The Washington Department of Revenue said it has no outstanding tax liens against T.E.A.M. Hospitality. And the Washington State Gambling Commission, which regulates more than 2,000 gaming establishments, said it has taken no action. The gambling commission is looking into the closure, but a spokeswoman said the move appeared to be a business decision.
Gallegos, a casino industry veteran who became general manager on Sept. 1, 2015, was touted as an expert who would bring a fresh approach to gaming and dining in the Tri-Cities.
T.E.A.M. describes Lucky Bridge as a “table game operation” with a poker room on its web page. It expected to add electronic gaming. The casino also operated a full-service restaurant and lounge.
The Best Bet Bar and Grill held its grand opening in June 2014. The restaurant earned an almost perfect score in its most recent inspection by the Benton-Franklin Health District, conducted Jan. 7.
According to Benton County property records, the Lucky Bridge building was constructed in 1964. The property is owned by Pasco-based Lucky Bridge, and is valued at $950,000. The owner could not be reached.