The city of Lakewood, Washington hasn’t allowed new gambling businesses since 2005. There were six minicasinos at the time of the moratorium. Happy Days Casino, Bar & Restaurant was one of those six. They closed down a year and a half ago. New owners had to apply for a new business license from the city, and a new gambling license from the state.
The state of Washington considers Happy Days a new minicasino. Lakewood does not allow new gambling businesses. But, because Happy Days was one of the original six minicasinos that were operating before the moratorium, they were viewed as one of the pre-existing businesses.
One of the key things was the location. The city didn’t want more cardrooms opening, especially in another part of the city. The existing six were all on busy interstate 5. Allowing Happy Days to reopen kept it in the same location. There is one more of the original six that is not currently in operation, and if someone wanted to reopen the cardroom in Bolero Lanes, Lakewood would probably approve.