SAN JOSE (KCBS) – After months of regulatory delays, San Jose’s brand new casino opened its doors to card players on Wednesday.
The new gaming club called Casino M8trix is expected to pump millions into city coffers.
Casino M8trix officially opened Wednesday on the eighth day of the eighth month of the year, echoing the cardroom’s name and taking advantage of the number’s auspicious reputation in Chinese culture, according to M8trix consultant Sean Kali-rai.
So far, M8trix does seem to have finally hit its lucky streak.
Following about four months of negotiations with the city to get permission to open, what had been planned as a “soft” opening Tuesday became “a pretty hard opening,” according to Kali-rai, who arrived around 5 p.m. to find the parking lot full and more than 1,000 people in the first floor of the venue.
“This is more of an entertainment venue,” Kali-rai said of M8trix, whereas the club’s previous incarnation, Garden City Casino, “was more of a gambling club.”
After officially closing Garden City Casino at 2 a.m. Tuesday, the operators of M8trix opened their doors at 10 a.m. The handoff happened in such a way because the cardroom owners have a city permit, one of only two such permits in San Jose, that essentially allows them to only have one cardroom open at a time, Kali-rai said.
At Wednesday’s grand opening, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said it was indeed a “lucky day” for San Jose.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
“We’re going to have more jobs and more money, what’s not to like about that,” he said.
The eight-story club near Mineta San Jose International Airport is expected to generate $15 million a year for the city in tax revenues.
The ground floor card room features a karaoke lounge, meeting rooms and a sports bar.
The former Garden City Casino could expand even further if San Jose voters approve a proposed 61 percent increase in gaming tables this November.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)