In order to resolve a long-running case brought by state regulators, the former director of California’s Division Of Gambling Control has agreed a settlement that will see him forfeit his gambling licenses and pay a fine.
According to a report from The San Diego Union-Tribune, Robert Lytle served as the state’s chief gambling enforcement agent from 2003 to 2007 before retiring to establish a consultancy business that catered to the same card rooms he once regulated.
The newspaper detailed how the state had accused Lytle, via a case brought in December of 2014, of negotiating a new job with San Jose-based card room Casino M8trix before leaving the Division Of Gambling Control. It was additionally alleged in the action that Lytle had told his investigators in the months leading up to his retirement to “cut back” on probes into the venue.
The action further asserted that Lytle began working as the compliance director for Casino M8trix only one day after formally retiring from state service and had subsequently received confidential information on investigations into the San Jose card room and other clients from a member of the Division’s staff via over 180 phone calls, text messages and e-mails.
Although the precise terms of the arrangement are not known and must still be approved by the California Gambling Control Commission, the deal settled in front of administrative law judge Jonathan Lew will see Lytle give up his licenses and pay a fine of $75,000 or 15% of the value of his ownership in two Sacramento-area casinos.
The newspaper further reported that the deal with the state prosecutor who brought the case will also see Lytle make “limited admissions” about his conduct and who he dealt with at the state bureau.
“Those admissions will be, big-picture-wise, that he solicited and received confidential information from bureau personnel and that he failed to disclose violations of the Gambling Control Act,” said California Deputy Attorney General William Torngren.
The settlement was agreed just before an expected two-week hearing into the matter was set to begin and ends a controversial episode for California’s gambling regulators. After the accusation was filed, Richard Lopes, Chairman for the California Gambling Control Commission and a former supervisor of Lytle, resigned after recusing himself and stating that his decision had nothing to do with the case.