Formerly the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, the Los Angeles County gambling destination located right off the 605 in Hawaiian Gardens, California is a far cry from its modest debut in 1999 as the $90 million renovation nears completion.

What began in 2013 as a renovation project expected to cost $45 million, has since doubled, as the Carson Street card room has undergone a major transformation. Card players who once sat at card tables under a giant white tent now sit in a spacious 200,000 square foot building with over 300 tables where daily tournaments are hosted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While some construction remains, such as the casino’s parking lot, the interior appears to be essentially complete. The once crowded card room can now accommodate between 5,000 and 7,000 people and houses a VIP gaming area, and more than 220 flat-screen TVs. Games include Blackjack, No-Limit Hold’em, Pan 9, Pai Gow Tiles, Omaha, Three Card Poker, EZ Baccarat and more.

Ron Sarabi, the casino’s general manager said, “The most important thing in the design is comfort and space. When we were in the tent, you couldn’t even walk by, because the tables were so close,” according to the Press-Telegram. Sarabi said that they wanted to provide customers with a mellow, relaxed place to play. The décor has an Asian flare and is swathed in soothing complimentary colors such as terra cotta, amber, and sandstone with hints of cooling water tones.

Also included in the redesign of The Gardens casino is the addition of an upscale bar and lounge where guests can order handcrafted cocktails and locally sourced wine and more than 24 California craft beers on tap. Another noticeable addition is the large kitchen where cooks prepare an international menu, ranging from Vietnamese and Thai to American, Mexican and Italian. Other new features include an oval-shaped bar, a second-floor special events space, and upstairs VIP rooms where management-invited guests can shower and rest. There is also a security room where monitors manned by employees keep tabs on the gaming floor as well as the parking lot. More than 1,000 cameras capable of zooming in on the license plates of cars parked in the lot or on individual players’ chips are installed around the property, according to the general manager.

A major employer and a key revenue source for the city’s government, The Gardens casino employs some 1,850 people.

The Gardens city casino joins other Southland gambling venues which have recently undergone similar transformations, including the new Hollywood Park Casino, which is expected to open soon in Inglewood near the future home of the Los Angeles Rams, as well as the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, which last year launched a $50-million overhaul, and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which in February, completed an approximately $50 million upgrade to its casino in Highland. Add to that, Larry Flynt’s purchase of the former Normandie Casino in Gardenia and his plans for $60 million in upgrades.

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