Food services reopened at 500 Club in Clovis, but card tables remain close

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Food is once again being served at the 500 Club, but the card tables remain empty. The doors to the casino have been locked since the State Department of Justice showed up unannounced last Wednesday to shut down the Clovis casino.

Agents said the 500 Club did not have enough money to cover the gambling chips used to place bets and play. The club is appealing the state and hopes to re-open the casino by this weekend.

Assistant City Manager John Holt said, "The one week closure which, probably represents somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 impact on the City of Clovis-- so it's relatively small but our concern is that it may be closed longer than that."

The City of Clovis is paying close attention to what happens.

Although the restaurant side re-opened early Tuesday, the club's big money maker is the card room.

Since moving to its current location at Shaw and Willow in June of 2012, the 500 Club has paid about a half million dollars a year in taxes to the city.

"Since that time it's been about $400,000 to $500,000 additional revenues to the City of Clovis. So it's been beneficial to us to have that money available to us for other services," said Holt. "It goes into our general fund to be used to provide police and fire services among other things."

The emergency shutdown issued last Wednesday closed the card room while the state continues its investigation. The DOJ is also requiring the club set up separate bank accounts and hire an independent manager to handle the money before they can re-open.

The closure is costing about $70,000 a day in revenue and has about 200 employees out of work.

"You've got 200 to 250 employees of which, maybe, 50 went back to work today hopefully with the food operation being back in place. But the 200 employees have a negative impact on the economy by having employees out there who are no longer out there making a living," said Holt.

We reached out to management and the 500 Club's attorney but they all refused to go on camera.
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