San Diego North County casinos hit boom timesBill Peterson, The Coast News · November 9, 2017 at 11:20 pmRe-investment in casinos is about as common as casinos themselves. After all, who wants to play in a dumpy, old casino?“Gaming in most markets is a very competitive industry,” said Bill Bembenek, CEO of Pala Casino Spa & Resort. “For that reason, in competitive markets such as Southern California, it is true that gaming companies typically reinvest in their properties in rather significant ways on average every five to 10 years.”However, Bembenek said, what’s happening with the Indian casinos in the San Diego area right now, particularly in the North County, is not that garden variety of re-investment. This is booming business.Seven of the San Diego area’s 10 casinos either are upgrading now or recently opened an upgrade. Estimates put the total value of these capital improvements at about $1 billion. An eighth San Diego-area casino, Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, celebrated its one-year anniversary in October.Leading the way are the three North County casinos — Pala, Valley View Casino and Harrah’s Resort Southern California.