After over a hear of deliberations and the California Bureau of Gambling Control has reportedly released a new set of proposals that would govern how ‘house-banked’ games such as baccarat, pai gow and poker are played inside the western state’s 72 card rooms.
According to a Friday report from the Los Angeles Times newspaper, ‘house-banked’ games usually involve gamblers trying to win money from a casino via a dealer who also serves as the bank. However, California laws purportedly prohibit card rooms not located on tribal lands from having any financial stake in a competition and so mandate that an outside representative act as the banker.
As such, the newspaper reported that California card rooms currently utilize licensed third parties to act as the banker with these entities generating revenues by charging fees on every hand usually based on a table’s bet limit. These individuals are also purportedly responsible for collecting cash from losing competitors and awarding winners.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the new rules from the California Bureau of Gambling Control would alter this system by mandating that every player at a table take turns serving as the banker and switch every two rounds. The updated regulations would moreover purportedly exclude competitors who refuse to serve as the banker and completely conclude games if no-one accepts the coveted responsibility.
The California Gaming Association reportedly told the newspaper that it is against the revised tenets as it believes these will make games more complicated and less fun and lead to competitors abandoning the state’s card rooms in favor of tribal casinos and those located in neighboring Nevada.
The LA Times cited an official report from the California Gaming Association in reporting that card rooms in Los Angeles County alone support nearly 13,500 jobs and contribute local taxes of approximately $71 million. The October investigation purportedly furthermore found that the industry employs in excess of 32,000 people statewide and pays annual wages and benefits worth well over $1.6 billion.
Reportedly read a statement from the California Gaming Association…
“If these regulations were adopted as proposed, they would kill the card room industry and devastate dozens of communities and thousands of working California families across the state. This proposal is a clear attack on the card room industry and a message that the [California Bureau of Gambling Control] is intent on eliminating this lawful $5.6 billion industry and putting 32,000 Californians out of work.”
For its part, the California Bureau of Gambling Control reportedly declared that it proposed the new regulations after ‘looking at various issues related to gaming’ and is now ‘interested in receiving input and engagement from the public’ at a December 18 hearing due to be held in Sacramento.