Lakewood’s City Council enacted a six month moratorium prohibiting any new card rooms in Lakewood at its Nov. 21 meeting. The city currently has three operating card rooms or “mini-casinos,” but the Council is concerned that as Tacoma begins to ban card rooms altogether next year those types of businesses could seek to move to Lakewood.
A number of other cities in Pierce County already have bans on card rooms which could leave Lakewood as one of the few places where non-tribal casinos could operate. The City Council will spend the next six months looking at how bans have affected other communities, and what impact gambling has had on the Lakewood community. Council members will also consider the financial cost of banning card rooms in the city.
Lakewood’s authority to enforce this moratorium is limited. The State Gambling Commission has the sole authority to authorize new card rooms. However, the city believes that the Gambling Commission and the gambling industry will respect the City Council’s action.
A public hearing will be held Jan., 17 at 7 p.m. at City Hall to discuss the morartorium.