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PORT ORCHARD, WA-This city’s planning commission is recommending approval of a proposed mini-casino, a hot topic in a state that prohibits communities from regulating gambling. Local owners want to open a restaurant and mini-casino on the site of an old landmark restaurant, slipping under a timeline that would temporarily ban mini-casinos in this established area west of Puget Sound.

In recent years, city officials in nearby Poulsbo, Tacoma and Gig Harbor have banned mini-casinos. In all, some 50 cities across the state of Washington that do not allow such gambling establishments. However, Port Orchard city commissioners are being advised by their legal counsel not to deny the application solely on a gambling consideration. The commission was told that the application had to be considered as if it were just another restaurant, bar or other similar uses allowed in that area of the city.

Loren Combs, Port Orchard city attorney, said that the commission would have more authority regulating carnival games than casino gambling.

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