CA regulators to crack down on card rooms
The Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC) of California is about to launch an effort to crack down on card rooms across the state. The move is part of an on-going battle between gaming operators and the Native Indian tribes in the state, who have a virtual lock on gambling activity. The BGC is looking to keep the tribes happy and to prevent a legal war.
The tribes believe they have a constitutional guarantee on casino-style gaming in the state. However, card rooms, which typically only offer poker games, successfully lobbied in 2001 for the ability to offer other card games, such as blackjack and Pai Gow. That approval came with one condition – that the players, instead of the house, would act as the bank.
There are now 74 card rooms across The Golden State and the tribes aren’t happy. They have been threatening the state with lawsuits if it didn’t do something to stop the supposed "illegal" activity. The BGC has finally stepped in and has said that it will rescind approval for the card rooms to offer "casino games" that are prohibited by law. This includes blackjack and Pai Gow.
The move isn’t appealing to either side of the battle. The tribes say it doesn’t go far enough, adding that it’s only a "delay tactic." The card rooms say that the decision will force them to completely alter their operations.
Undoubtedly, the fight will continue. Card rooms will be given time to alter their games before facing fines, but no one should expect the decision by the BGC to be the end of the debacle.