Gambling Casino Loses in Fillmore

Chances ran out this week for a proposed gambling casino in Fillmore.

The City Council on Tuesday permanently tabled the controversial plan by the Fillmore Investment Group. Haig Kelegian, a group spokesman, said the attempt to construct the facility has ended.

“Fillmore Investment Group would not have gotten involved if city ordinances did not permit the business,” he told council members. “I’m not here to fight windmills.”

The group had touted the gambling hall and an associated hotel and restaurant as a boon to the city. It was to generate $2 million to $5 million annually in fees and taxes--more than twice the city’s annual budget. But opponents feared that it would lure criminal elements.


Kelegian said former City Manager Stan Greene led his organization to believe that the city would accept the plan but could take no action until a site was designated. By the time property was chosen, Greene had left Fillmore and a new council had taken office.

Kelegian said the council’s refusal to act on the project was unfair and asked for reimbursement of about $30,000 he said was “spent at the city’s request.”

He said the group had spent $16,000 to secure property and $10,000 to $15,000 for “miscellaneous expenses.”

The council did not discuss his request.

However, Fred Krone, an outspoken opponent of the casino, said: “The council are fools if they pay back the Fillmore Investment Group. If you can’t stand to lose, don’t shake the dice.”

Acting City Manager Norman Blacher said the council will not reconsider the proposal.