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Owner Says Track Not Part of Casino Effort

Christo Bardis, co-owner of Los Alamitos Race Course, has assured City Council members in a letter that the track has no connection with a statewide initiative to add casino gambling at the track.

Mayor Tom Carroll said Wednesday that Bardis wrote: “Obviously it would be in the best interest of Los Alamitos Race Course to see this initiative pass. However, we do not think it is possible and do not intend to participate in the initiative process.”

Council members learned last week from a city staff report of the statewide drive to seek voter approval in 1998 to add casinos at the Los Alamitos course, which is in Cypress; and at four other racetracks.

In an interview Wednesday, Bardis said he does not know who is pushing the casino initiative but suspects “professionals who try to get things on the ballot and then get money for it.”

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As far as he knows, Bardis said, the state’s horse racing industry has no connection with the casino proposal.

“We tried to get an expansion of gambling by asking for a card club in Cypress, and the voters turned that down,” Bardis said. “The voters have spoken. At this time we do not intend to participate in any process without the city’s participation.”

The casino gambling proposal will be discussed at Monday’s council meeting, but no action will be taken, Carroll said.

“We’ll have a report from our city attorney on what the council may be able to do,” Carroll said.

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“We’re definitely opposed to this thing because it does nothing for Cypress,” Carroll said. The initiative would forbid a city from taxing a casino or getting any share of its profits, he said. “We’d only get the problems.”


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