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Owners of Casino in Compton Betting That Hotel Rooms Will Attract Gamblers

August 28, 1996

Hollywood Park executives have discovered that while Southern Californians want a chance to gamble 24 hours a day, none of the region's casinos offer a place to sleep.

Begrudging that advantage of Las Vegas, Mark A. Sterbens, the casino's chief gaming officer, outlined other deficiencies: no in-house Jacuzzis and nowhere to work out.

The Radisson Crystal Park Hotel and Casino hopes to change all that.

Hollywood Park is investing $26 million in the project, expected to open in October in an industrial portion of Compton that promoters call Crystal City.

It will feature more than 50,000 square feet of gaming space, 282 rooms and complimentary transportation to and from Los Angeles International Airport. But just as important as any of that, Sterbens said, Crystal Park is being built near six freeways to provide easy access for gamblers from L.A. and Orange counties.

What's more, Sterbens claims, it's a good deal for Compton. He estimates that the casino will provide the city $4 million in revenue during its first year. The complex is expected to generate more than 1,000 regional jobs.

While the hotel-casino combination may be a first, several gambling establishments have come and gone in Compton since the city approved a card club measure in 1934.

The most recent to close was a bingo parlor run by the Community Foundation for Social Services, which shut down in 1994. That year the City Council approved the Crystal Park proposal as put forth by the company that will oversee the casino's operation, Compton Entertainment Inc.

Sterbens said patrons can expect an art deco complex decorated with foil wallpapering, imported wool carpeting and marble accents. The heart of the casino will be, of course, poker and blackjack-type games.

So where does the crystal motif--as in Crystal City--come in?

Above the "diamond edge" portion of the game floor, where the minimum bet on pai gow and baccarat games will be $100, will hang crystal chandeliers.

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