A group of cardroom workers is opposing the regulations proposed by California Bureau of Gambling Control, saying that the new regime will harm their businesses. Elected officials are also joining the employees’ protests against the proposed changes under which changes are set to be brought to blackjack-style and other player-dealer games.
Blackjack and other card games have been officially permitted by the California Department of Justice and have been so far offered at local cardrooms without them causing any public concerns for decades.
According to the proposal’s supporters, these games violate California state law but cardroom employees insist that if changed, the regulations will lead to sharp decline in activity and job numbers in the cardrooms across the state. Campaigners have shared fears that the disruption of the above-mentioned games would cause many job losses across the state, not to mention that it would stop the money flow to crucial services for society, such as public safety, park maintenance, etc., as there are cities in the state of California that rely on tax revenue generated by local cardrooms for more than 50% of their budget.
The campaigners have also been backed by city leaders from Gardena, Commerce, Inglewood, Bell Gardens, Hawaiian Gardens and Compton.
Indian Tribes Filed Lawsuit against 12 Corporations in November
For the time being, the existing state law does not allow non-Indian casinos and cardrooms to collect money directly from losing players. This is why cardrooms are permitted to operate in California by using third-party businesses which serve as a banker in card games and collect money from players.
As they are technically not allowed to collect money from losing players, cardrooms in the state collect a certain fee from players for each hand they play. Indian casinos, however, have argued that this practice violates their exclusive right to collect money from card games in California. In November 2018, a joint legal action was filed by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians and the Rincon Banc of Luiseno Indians, with the plaintiffs claiming that the aforementioned exclusivity was subject to infringement by a group of cardrooms around the state.
According to the joint legal action, filed in the Superior Court of San Diego County, the Gambling Control Act and Penal Code, as well as the state’s Constitution, were violated by the listed cardrooms, as well as by third-party proposition players who were not named. Apart from that, the allegations include public harm and unfair competition.
The 12 corporations listed in the lawsuit are all operating as private, non-profit businesses.
Nearly 2 decades ago, in 2000, California voters gave the nod to Proposition 1A, under which the Governor of the state was given the right to negotiate with federally-recognized Indian tribal nations to offer so-called banked and percentage card games within their lands in compliance with the federal and state laws.