The California Gaming Association’s (CGA), president, Kyle Kirkland, responded yesterday to new regulations issued by the California Attorney General’s Bureau of Gambling Control regarding card room game guidelines.
According to the press release, the CGA hasn’t fully analyzed the Bureau of Gambling Control’s Notification Regarding Rules of Games Featuring a Player-Dealer Position, but is concerned about the potential adverse impact the new guidelines will have especially on the state’s $1 billion card room industry and the 23,000 jobs throughout California it supports.
Kirkland stated in the release, “Throughout our industry’s history, California card rooms have offered legal games compliant with the laws and regulations governing the industry and have only offered games that were fully vetted and approved by the Bureau of Gambling Control. For the past decade, our members have relied on the guidance and oversight from the Bureau in implementing lawful gaming activities and have invested millions of dollars in our communities to offer safe, high-quality entertainment to the public.”
Kirkland went on to say that while the CGA is uncertain about how the new guidelines will affect the manner in which card room games are played, it will do whatever it needs to do to lessen any negative impact the changes might have on the state’s businesses and communities who rely on the tax revenue from the industry.
A four-year battle has been waged by the state’s American Indian tribes to try to get state regulators to make changes to the laws. The contention by the tribes is that the card rooms are illegally operating house-banked games, which threatens their sovereign right and constitutional exclusivity to offer the casino-style gambling.
In February, Wayne Quint, the California Bureau of Gambling Control’s (CBGC) bureau chief, signed a letter stating that the agency would no longer be accepting applications from card rooms for new table games that don’t require “continuous and systematic rotation” of the player-dealer position, according to the Online Poker Report. The CBGC’s letter overrode the December 2007 opinion by Robert Lytle, who from 2003 to 2007 served as the state’s chief gambling enforcement agent before leaving the bureau to work as a card room owner and establish a consulting business that catered to the same card rooms he was once in charge of regulating.
Quint’s directive, which only applied to new table game applications and did not require card rooms to rotate the deal on games that were being played citing the 2007 opinion, was only in effect until June 30.
Lytle’s opinion greatly facilitated the state’s approximately 80 card rooms use of highly-profitable third-party proposition player (TPPP) firms. Owners of card rooms content their operations are within the state’s guidelines and claim that they would not be able to compete with the 60 or so tribal casinos in California without TPPP’s.