The state Bureau of Gambling Control has raised the stakes in the enduring battle between California’s gaming factions with a proposed regulation on collection fees at cardrooms.
Under current rules, establishments have wide discretion to waive pay-to-play fees for each hand, but the bureau is weighing options to standardize that process by requiring card clubs to set rules before each game. The industry considers it an attempt by tribal casinos to circumvent the legislative process, where several bills mandating collection fees have failed in recent years, and create a competitive advantage.
“They’re trying to get the cardrooms to raise their fees on the customers so the customers won’t play our games anymore and they’ll go to the tribal casinos instead,” said Jarhett Blonien, executive of Communities for California Cardrooms.
The group – which also frames the collection fees as an economic blow to card clubs and California – will be joined by former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown and Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson, to oppose the regulation at a public workshop hosted by the gambling bureau, 10 a.m. at the Ben Ali Shrine Center.
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Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.