HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — The Hawthorne City Council Tuesday decided not to roll the dice on a controversial new casino proposed by Mayor Chris Brown.
Hawthorne’s mayor has drafted a measure for the November ballot that would legalize gambling allow for a casino in the city in effort to ease budget woes.
However, KCAL9’s Dave Bryan reports city council members voted 3-2 to put the ballot initiative on hold Tuesday evening, as constituents spoke in overwhelming opposition to the proposal.
There were also bitter exchanges between the mayor and council member Alex Vargas, who objected to Brown interrupting when he had the floor.
“At the end of the day, I’m interested to hear what all the constituents have to say about this, and I will give them the opportunity to voice their opinions,” Brown later told KCAL9, adding that he would continue to push for the measure to be added to the ballot for Hawthorne residents to vote on in November.
KNX 1070’s Jan Stevens earlier reported the upscale casino, which would only permit card games, would be part of an upscale development of shops, restaurants and other forms of entertainment.
The measure must be approved by at least two city council members to move forward.
Brown says the casinos could help solve a $6 million budget deficit and create 1,000 jobs.
“The casino will bring $12 to $14 million in revenue for our city,” he added.
Currently, there are seven other card clubs operating in Los Angeles County, including the Hustler Casino in nearby Gardena.
While public reaction has been mixed to the proposal, Brown said focusing on the right demographic could be key to gaining support.
“It will need to be sold to our older constituents,” said Brown. “For the younger ones, actually, they think it might be good for the city of Hawthorne.”