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Hawaiian Gardens : Bingo Moratorium Still On

February 25, 1988

The Hawaiian Gardens City Council voted Tuesday night not to lift a moratorium on bingo licenses. Council members have been concerned about a loss of tax revenue since managers of the Cooper Fellowship Inc., which runs the city's largest bingo parlor, announced earlier this month that they had closed it indefinitely.

The council was expected to discuss lifting the moratorium, which expired in June, so it could begin processing license applications.

City officials earlier said they had received a request from Friends of Lubavitch, an Orange County-based Orthodox Jewish group, to take over Cooper's 600-seat bingo parlor at 11831 Carson St.

Cooper spokesman Bill Thom confirmed that "the play of bingo" is suspended for "an indeterminate period of time."

Reading from the letter, which was signed "Cooper Fellowship Inc. Board of Directors," Thom said that Cooper's executive director, Jack Blackburn, has "a rather serious cardiac problem." Thom said Blackburn's condition "would require some internal administrative reorganization for a period of undetermined time."

When councilmen asked Thom to clarify how long the operation would be closed, he replied: "The board is just saying 'for an unknown length of time. Whether it is a month, a week, a year, I don't know."

Councilwoman Kathleen Navejas said: "If Cooper isn't leaving, there is no need to discuss this."

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