Don’t bet on minicasinos in Edmonds

By WARREN CORNWALL

Herald Writer

Minicasino owners take heed: Edmonds is off-limits.

The Edmonds City Council has banned gambling businesses in the face of an initiative campaign that could have put the matter to a citywide vote.

"In talking with other citizens during the whole process, I think it became apparent to me that people don’t want that form of gambling in downtown Edmonds," councilman Chris Davis said.

Davis added his vote to a 6-0 approval of the ban last week. Councilman Jim White abstained.

With that decision, Edmonds joined a number of cities in Snohomish County shunning minicasinos, including Marysville, Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Brier and Bothell.

"A lot of cities in the Puget Sound area, particularly King and Pierce County, have adopted prohibitions on card rooms," said Bob Meinig, a legal consultant for the Municipal Research and Services Center, a nonprofit think tank in Seattle.

The bans have been prompted by concerns that minicasinos could attract crime, traffic or further gambling businesses, Meinig said.

The decision marked a victory for councilman Dave Orvis, who led the petition drive to get the minicasino ban on the ballot. Orvis had gathered enough signatures to meet the legal threshold. That meant the initiative would have been put before voters if the council hadn’t approved it.

The ban presents a major barrier to plans by one local business to open a minicasino — a card room allowed to have 15 tables and house-banked betting. Marty’s, a restaurant and bar near the Edmonds ferry terminal, has applied to the state Gambling Commission for a minicasino license.

The restaurant’s landlord, Al Dykes, had lobbied against the ban, arguing a minicasino could bring tax revenue and jobs to the city. Dykes also argued that Orvis had exaggerated the dangers of minicasinos.

Dykes could not be reached for comment Monday.

Though he voted for the ban, Davis voiced dissatisfaction with how the decision was reached. The initiative process left the council little chance to craft its own ordinance, which might better withstand legal challenges, he said.

The timeline also rushed an Edmonds committee studying the potential effects of a minicasino, said Davis, who chaired the committee.

"I don’t believe there was enough public input to this," he said.

But Orvis dismissed that criticism, saying he had broached of a ban to the council in May.

"The city council had plenty of opportunities to pass an ordinance," he said.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Everett
Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

Two Washington State ferries pass along the route between Mukilteo and Clinton as scuba divers swim near the shore Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
On Mukilteo-Clinton route, small boat means continued long ferry lines

The 144-car Suquamish was scheduled to replace the 90-car Sealth, which has been temporarily serving the route.

FILE – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Nov. 4, 2021. Ellen M. Banner | Seattle Times | TNS | File Photo
6 months for man who sexually assaulted woman on Seattle flight

A former commercial airline mechanic was sentenced to six months behind bars… Continue reading

Rep. Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen kickoff in Everett canceled over fear of pro-Palestinian protesters

The event had been scheduled to take place at the Scuttlebutt Brewing Taproom on Monday night.

After 3 years in jail, Camano murder suspect’s trial delayed again

In February 2021, prosecutors allege, Dominic Wagstaff shot and killed his father, shot his brother’s girlfriend and tried to shoot his brother.

The access loop trail on the Old Sauk Trail on Monday, May 27, 2024 in Darrington, Washington. (Ta'Leah Van Sistine / The Herald)
10 accessible trails to explore this summer in Snohomish County

For people with disabilities, tree roots and other obstacles can curb access to the outdoors. But some trails are wheelchair-friendly.

Everett NewsGuild members cheer as a passing car honks in support of their strike on Monday, June 24, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett Herald newsroom strikes amid layoffs

“We hope that people who live in these communities can see our passion, because it’s there,” said Sophia Gates, one of 12 Herald staffers who lost jobs last week.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.