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City of Tukwila

Advisory Measure No. 1
Licensed Card Rooms in the City of Tukwila

Tukwila Resolution No. 1745 submits the following question to the voters of the City of Tukwila regarding social card rooms in the City:

Should gambling in the form of social card rooms be allowed in Tukwila?



This is an advisory measure seeking voter input regarding the continuation of social card rooms in the City of Tukwila.  The advisory measures asks voters whether they would prefer to ban gambling in the form of social card rooms or allow it city-wide.

Washington State law allows social card games to be used as a commercial stimulant for businesses such as restaurants.  This form of gambling is licensed by the State of Washington.  There are currently four restaurants using social card games as commercial stimulants in the City of Tukwila.

The City has limited control regarding placement of these establishments and they are allowed to locate where local zoning allows restaurants.  The City has the ability to ban this type of gambling completely.  To do so, would cause a loss of approximately $2.1 million dollars to the City’s budget, annually.    

This measure is advisory only.  The result of the election on this measure will provide the Tukwila City Council with voter input, but approval or rejection of the measure does not legally require or prohibit gambling in the form of social card rooms within the City.

Tukwila City Council passed Ordinance 2323 this year, putting every casino in Tukwila out of business within five years.  This Advisory Vote is on the ballot because neighbors, business owners, police, fire fighter unions, and the mayor requested the Council to correct this egregious mistake.

This vote is about jobs and taxes.  Currently the casino industry represents 450 employees and over $2,000,000 to our annual City budget.  During these tough times, it’s unreasonable to eliminate jobs and tax revenues to make a few feel “good” about where they live!

The four City Councilors who voted for the Ordinance have no alternative or plan to replace these lost revenues.  There are only two choices!  One is to increase our taxes! The other is to cut funding to essential services such as police and fire or to cut family, child and senior programs.

Closing casinos is a bad idea at the wrong time!  Instead of eliminating jobs and tax revenues, City Council should be improving our business climate and lowering our taxes.  Send a message to the City Council.  We need more jobs and less taxes.

Vote YES, it’s right for Tukwila.

Casinos crept into Tukwila while we were unaware.  Empirical studies show that despite the tax revenue generated by gambling, allowing casinos in a community is fraught with pitfalls, hidden costs, and social ills.

A nationwide study reveals that per capita gambling revenues are $34, while the social costs of gambling are $190, resulting in a net social cost of $156.  Included in that cost are unemployment and welfare payments, mental health treatment, and criminal justice costs due to domestic violence, child neglect, fraud, theft, and homicide. 

Casinos do NOT promote true economic growth.  New businesses avoid locating in areas that allow gambling.  Since none of Tukwila’s casino owners and few of the employees live inside the city, Tukwila residents do not benefit from jobs or economic investment of profits.  Instead of rejuvenating a city, a casino can actually kill other businesses by sucking money out of the economy.

State law says that casinos are permitted wherever restaurants are allowed.  Do we really want casinos anywhere in our city?  What are we willing to allow for the sake of revenue?  We didn’t have a say then, but we do now.  Vote “NO” for a casino-free Tukwila.

Want the facts?  Visit

Scare tactics and misrepresentations do not serve the public good. The casino industry has been part of the city for 12 years and provides over $2,000,000 in annual revenue to the city budget. Without this money, taxes will be raised or services cut. The reason this advisory vote is before the public is because responsible citizens including the mayor, police, fire unions and the business community have pressed the issue. Vote responsibly, vote YES.

Statement submitted by: Thomas McLeod, Gerry Myklebust and Charles Parrish  •

Casino proponents strongly opposed bringing the vote to the people. What are they afraid of?

Suggesting Tukwila will cut public safety, its first priority, is a scare tactic. City government needs to wean itself from dependence on gambling revenues. Within five years we can reduce expenditures that don’t affect essential services, sales tax revenue will increase, and business will grow. 

Gambling supporters imply the people of Tukwila want casinos. Show them they’re wrong. Vote no.

Statement submitted by: Citizens for a Casino-Free Tukwila  •

Not Applicable to Advisory Measures

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