A proposed measure in California may, if approved, allow smaller cardrooms to grow moderately and without overexpansion while barring new cardrooms from opening in the state.
The bill was originally proposed by James Ramos, the first Native American to be a part of California’s state legislature. Nicknamed AB341, the gambling measure would allow current cardrooms to expand their businesses while keeping their competitors in check.
Under the bill, which would basically continue the 25-year cardroom moratorium introduced in 1997, no new cardrooms will be able to open in the state. However, some of the smaller cardrooms in the Golden State will be allowed to expand.
Under the new rules, cardrooms that currently have 20 or fewer tables will be allowed to expand their number of gaming tables by up to two within the first year. Then, they will be allowed to add up to two additional tables every four years for a maximum total of 10 additional tables.
The previous moratorium, which also prevented the existing ones from expanding, expired in August 2022. The local legislature failed to renew it via a new bill, marking the end of the 25-year-long regime.
However, AB341 seeks to re-impose the moratorium and once again limit the expansion of local cardrooms. The envisioned moratorium would be set to expand on January 1, 2043.
Local Tribes Are in Favor of the Measure
Yesterday, the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee agreed to advance AB341. It currently has the backing of five Californian tribes, including the Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians.
The tribes released a joint statement, supporting Ramos and his measure. According to them, the bill proposes a moderate approach to the matter that, if passed, will prevent the local cardroom market from getting oversaturated, while allowing smaller cardroom to improve their profitability and remain competitive.
The tribes added that they are excited to join forces with everyone involved in the bill to strike the perfect balance California needs.
We look forward to working with the Legislature, the cardroom industry and the Tribal community on finding a balance that is consistent with California voters’ support of Tribal gaming.
A statement released by the tribes
Speaking about Californian cardrooms, last year, a controversial measure under the nickname Proposition 26 threatened the local cardroom sector. The measure would have provided Tribal entities with the power to put their competitors out of business.
Fortunately for the cardrooms in the state, the proposition was ultimately rejected, securing the livelihoods of its workers.