Richland Casino Closes Its Cardroom
RICHLAND, Wash. - Joker's Casino & Sports Bar closes its gambling business this week. It's the second Tri-City cardroom to close in seven months.
Like any poker game you've got to look at your hand and decide if you're gonna to keep going or fold. The owner of Joker's Casino decided his hand just wasn't as good as when he got started.
"That was the old security podium over there... this is kinda hard," said Mark Frank, Joker's Casino Owner.
Frank is getting out of the gambling business. Monday he closed the cardroom to Joker's Casino in Richland. He said he had high hopes when he started, but the business became a burden.
"It changed from something that was very controllable to a very difficult business to run," Frank said.
He said his business had customers, but he couldn't adapt to wage hikes, competition and new government regulations.
"Every year our costs go up and we have no way to raise prices on gambling," he said.
And he's not the only casino in town dealing with the issues. Management at Coyote Bob's Roadhouse Casino in Kennewick, and the Crazy Moose Casino in Pasco said they struggle with the same issues.
Although managers declined to go on camera they did tell us keeping up with increasing payroll, taxes from the government, and competing against the four remaining cardrooms around town isn't easy.
"There's probably room in the area for only three or four not five or six," said Frank.
Although Frank said it's been difficult to close the cardroom. He said he's optimistic with his new plans to replace the gambling with a classic sports bar.