Lynwood voters have turned down the chance to allow card clubs in the city, according to unofficial results of an election in which only 11% of registered voters went to the polls.
Measure L was rejected Tuesday by a vote of 990 to 609, initial results showed. The measure would have legalized card casinos, in effect beating a state moratorium that begins Jan. 1.
No specific casino proposals had been brought before city officials. But a local developer had argued that a casino would make an ideal centerpiece for a new entertainment complex in the city.
"It's just really unfortunate that the other card clubs [in nearby cities] were able to recruit and finance opposition," said Leighton Hull, president of Lynwood Development Group. He added that a casino-based entertainment complex could have supplemented the city's tax sources and provided a badly needed boost to city employment.
But Mayor Paul Richards said the low-turnout vote signaled that voters were uninterested in opening casinos.
"This is a very morally strong community," Richards said. "People believe that other options are available for solving some of the fiscal challenges of the city."