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KIRKLAND, WA-Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association has agreed to lease half of its bingo hall in the Kingsgate neighborhood here to Yakima-based Casino Caribbean, which will operate a 15-table card room, lounge and restaurant in half of the building. The 25-year, 11,000-sf lease is part of an effort by the Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association to maximize the building’s revenue, which is used to subsidize youth hockey and figure-skating programs.As part of the deal, the one-time Skate King roller rink will see $2.5 million worth of improvements. The county is in the process of reviewing applications for the necessary permits. In addition to the interior improvements, planned exterior improvements include a fresh paint job, new landscaping and better lighting for the parking lot. Increased security also is planned, including 24-hour surveillance and armed guards.Lease revenue will help offset dwindling revenue from the bingo operations, according to the Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association. The bingo operation netted the group $220,000 for youth hockey last year, down from closer to $500,000 in its heyday. The deal with Casino Caribbean is expected to fill in that gap, allowing the hockey association to lower rates that have been on the rise as bingo hall revenue has fallen.In operation since 1964, Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association owns and operates Kingsgate Ice Arena, which sits across the street from the bingo hall, and Castle Ice Arena in Kent. The association says that if it didn’t have revenue from the bingo hall to offset its costs, people would pay at least $2,500 a year to play hockey. With the revenue, which covers about 50% of the cost of the sports programs, it costs teams between $600 and $1,000 per season.Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association executive director Art Baldwin could not be reached Tuesday for further comment. The association is not alone in using gambling to subsidize its youth sports programs. The Silver Dollar Casino operates a bingo hall in partnership with the Seattle Junior Hockey League in Mountlake Terrace.

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