South Bay News

Casino M8trix could open as soon as next week

Saturday, July 28, 2012

After a long fight, the Bay Area's newest casino is about to open for business. The $50 million Casino M8trix just off Highway 101 in San Jose is lit up like a riverboat even though the parking lot is vacant and the building is empty. But that might not be for long.

It's quiet now, but the owners of Casino M8trix are hoping that sometime next week, its 49 tables will be hopping once the city's division of gaming control gives final approval.

"We've submitted all the documentation we believe they require," said Sean Kali Rai of Casino M8trix. "So as soon as we get some feedback from them, early next week, we're hoping we can literally pay for the permit, pick it up and later next week open the front doors."

Friday, San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore signed off on the cardroom, providing Casino M8trix meets certain conditions. It has to test the surveillance system, making sure there are off-site TV monitors at the division of gaming control. Also, the city wants to make sure it gets information from tracking devices at each table, showing player activity and how fees are collected and paid.

City Councilman Pete Constant says the outstanding issues are relatively minor. "I think they're all issues that will be resolved very quickly and I think we can expect to see the M8trix casino open shortly."

By law, the company that runs M8trix will have to shut down its other casino in town, the Garden City Cardroom, as soon as this facility is opened.

Eventually, Casino M8trix wants to open gambling salons on the eighth floor of the building which is along Highway 101 near the San Jose Airport. But that approval could take months.

The new casino is expected to create about 300 new jobs. It would be one of two cardrooms in San Jose.

"They generate about $15 million a year in tax revenue," said Constant. "And I think that we could probably say we'll see probably a 20 percent increase in that over the next year or two."

But not everyone is thrilled about the new and bigger casino. "It doesn't sound good," said San Jose resident Munazar Dar. "Some guy's getting [his] salary and he's spending it in the casino. They are getting addicted to these things... the casino is not a good idea actually."

Vocal opposition was virtually non-existent. The plan is to eventually build a hotel next to the casino. M8trix is still looking to fill about a hundred jobs there.

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