Capitol Alert

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Lawmakers go bust at Capitol cardroom

08/13/2014 4:29 PM

08/14/2014 9:16 AM

As discussions over gambling regulations in California heat up, the card club industry hosted lawmakers and their staff Wednesday for blackjack in the shadow of the Capitol.

The event was organized by Communities for California Cardrooms, a trade association that formed last year and counts former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown among its consultants. The group been working to raise the political visibility of cardrooms, said executive director Jarhett Blonien, especially as the expansion of Indian gambling and the proposed legalization of Internet poker create an increasingly competitive gambling environment in California.

“How do you create the framework where they can all work under the same umbrella?” Blonien said. “That’s the biggest difficulty.”

Several lawmakers dropped by, including Democratic Assemblymen Steven Bradford of Gardena and Reggie Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles, but most declined to sit down for a hand.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, played a few rounds of Vegas-style blackjack, though he didn’t find much luck at the table. He said he showed up in his capacity as chair of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, to educate himself more about cardrooms and show support for the clubs in his district.

“Believe it or not, I’m not a gambler,” he said. “No, I didn’t win. I’m not good at that stuff.”

Capitol Alert staff

Amy Chance
Political editor
achance@sacbee.com
@Amy_Chance

Dan Smith
Capitol bureau chief
smith@sacbee.com
@DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller
California policy and politics
Capitol Alert editor
jmiller@sacbee.com
@jimmiller2

David Siders
Brown administration
dsiders@sacbee.com
@davidsiders

Christopher Cadelago
California politics and health care
ccadelago@sacbee.com
@ccadelago

Laurel Rosenhall
Legislature, lobbying, higher education
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
@LaurelRosenhall

Jeremy B. White
Legislature
jwhite@sacbee.com
@capitolalert

Alexei Koseff
Insider Edition editor
akoseff@sacbee.com
@akoseff

 

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