Saturday, March 30, 2013
WALLA WALLA — The Blue Mountain Casino has folded its blackjack operations.
The Eastgate tavern and casino shut down a portion of its gambling because the tables are no longer profitable, owner Pat Jutz said.
Saturday was the last day for five or so tables that offer blackjack at 2025 Isaacs Ave. Jutz said the two poker tables will remain, and the business will otherwise continue operating.
“It comes down to two things,” Jutz said Friday. “The economy is dead so players don’t have as much money, and the constant raises in minimum wage.”
Jutz estimates 25 to 30 employees could be affected by the change. He said at the height of the business, he had as many as 80 employees. But the number now is likely closer to 45 or 50.
The business had long been known as a bar and dining room with pool tables when poker came in around 2001. He believes blackjack was added around 2003.
The tables, he said, will likely be sold through a gambling distributor.
The space could either be filled with pool tables or a dance floor and stage, Jutz said.
Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8321.