Capitol Alert

Card room invites gambling commission members to ‘influencer reception’

Alex Kalinyuk works on the floor of the new Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights last year.
Alex Kalinyuk works on the floor of the new Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights last year. Sacramento Bee file

It is not uncommon for California’s regulated industries to seek informal audiences with the public officials who oversee them, but rarely is the proposition so plainly stated as it was in an invitation from a Citrus Heights card room to members of the California Gambling Control Commission this week.

Members of the commission, which regulates tribal casinos and card rooms, were invited to an “influencer reception” hosted by Stones Gambling Hall next month.

The party, including complimentary appetizers and beverages, was billed as an anniversary of the casino’s opening, and includes a wide array of guests. A casino representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Pamela Mares, a spokeswoman for the commission, said commissioners attend industry events “as appropriate,” usually paying their own costs.

Commissioners, she said, “can’t be totally isolated from the industry.”

Mares did not know if any commission member planned to go to the Stones Gambling Hall event.

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed his outgoing chief deputy press secretary, Jim Evans, chairman of the gambling control commission.

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