Kent casino closing

An unprofitable Kent casino will close March 14 putting more than 90 jobs at risk.

The Great American Casino in the Panther Lake neighborhood of Kent said it plans to shut down in mid-March because of financial issues.

Despite a reduction in the city’s gambling tax, the casino says it has been losing money for nearly three years. The recession and vacancies in the shopping area where the casino is have hurt the concern’s business.

Three other casinos owned by the same company, British Columbia’s Great Canadian Gaming, will remain open in the Puget Sound area. Those casinos are located in Lakewood, Everett and Tukwila.

The casino owners this week issued layoff notices to 93 employees at the Kent operation, but managers say some of those workers may transfer to openings at the three remaining casinos.

The Kent casino opened in 2003. It is Kent’s only casino. Kent has banned casinos in the city, but the Great American Casino was grandfathered in because it was operating in an area that joined the city by annexation after the casino opened.