SALINAS, Calif.- One Central Coast city is hoping to take in a larger draw from a local casino, that's raking in more cash from it's card tables. The City of Salinas said now that Banker's Casino is established and bringing in a lot of business it should pay more to double down.
So what do city leaders say they want to use the money for? Councilmember Jyl Lutes said any extra money the card room pays should go toward police officer training to monitor any cheating.
Right now it pays just over $19,000 dollars a year, and Lutes said that's about on par with what the city of Marina charges it's card rooms. But other cities like San Jose, have a special tax, raking in a lot more money. But it's also a much bigger city. This year the Salinas city budget is balanced, but next year's is about $5 million short. Lutes said the city wants to start filling that gap by banking on the popular card room.
"What I'd like to see is that we re-look at how we charge them. Do we charge them by the total amount of earnings that they bring in? Do we charge them by the table? I want to look at what other cities are doing," said Salinas city councilmember Jyl Lutes.
The casino pays for it's own private security. So having police officers watching the tables would be extra. But Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin said his department doesn't have the staff to handle the extra work.
We tried to speak with the casino's owners tonight, to find out what higher fees would do to their business, but haven't heard back yet.