Tri-Cities Casino's Losing Money from Credit Crunch - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Casino's Losing Money from Credit Crunch

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Across the country the economic downturn is causing the gambling industry to face millions in losses and bankrupties. The casinos in theTtri-Cities are feeling the affect of the credit crunch. 
Casinos in Washington State have seen a 30 percent decline in money gambled. That not only affects their profits but the amount of gaming tax dollars that go to your city, like Kennewick and it's Island Casino.

Casinos like Coyote Bob's, Classic Island in Kennewick and Jokers in Richland, contribute 10 percent of all money gambled to the city they are located in, called a gaming tax. Millions of dollars a month from different casinos goes into a general fund that helps pay for schools, police and other city expenses.

"When I say I win, $5 an hour from a customer the city of Kennewick takes 50 cents," said Jim Bakunowicz, Owner of Island Casios.

Lately casinos have seen a 30 percent loss in money gambled and that means cities across America are seeing less tax revenue.

"They come in less often and spend less money," said Scott Taylor, Manager, Classic Island Casino.

At Classic Island Casino in Kennewick regulars are saying because of the credit crunch they have less money to gamble with.

"People only coming in for one hour and a half, that $15 is down to $7.50," said Bakunowicz.

For now casinos are relying on reward programs and excellent customer service to keep customers inside longer.

"Keep them happy, keep them in the building, do what I can to help them with comps and get food or drinks, or whatever," said Taylor.

Large Casinos are seeing major losses. The owner of Island Casinos says Las Vegas gaming companies are also having financial trouble. He says Harrah's and the Venetian are on the verge of bankruptcy.