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Bell : Card Club Talks Proceed

February 25, 1988

Bell officials will meet this week with representatives from the nearby California Commerce Club and Las Vegas-based Southwest Gaming Inc. to discuss their proposals to take over operation of the California Bell Club.

The Community Redevelopment Agency was expected to choose one of the two firms this week, but delayed making a decision until the next City Council meeting March 7, Councilman Ray Johnson said.

"We don't have enough information yet," said Johnson, who along with Councilman George Cole is on a two-member subcommittee that has been reviewing proposals from several bidders. "We want to know about their financial ability, we want them to have adequate capital . . . to turn the club around, we want to make sure they have a marketing plan to promote the club."

Since 1984, tax revenue from the beleaguered card club has been dwindling, prompting city officials to consider purchasing it through condemnation and then leasing it to a concessionaire who would handle daily operations. If the city's plan is successful, the Bell Club could become the first city-owned casino in the country.

Johnson said City Atty. Robert Flandrick and acting City Administrator Leonard Wood would be meeting with Commerce Club and Southwest Gaming officials.

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