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The state of California is working to shut down the bevy of illegal card rooms operating in the Golden State by rescinding loose rules that currently allow the rooms to operate.
The current card rooms offer games that are similar to those found in casinos, but with slight variations that let them slip through the regulatory cracks. This loophole will be closed moving forward, with more than 74 rooms that will be affected by the change. Other changes will require games to have the dealer and player positions, which will create a substantial issue for the rooms.
The enforcement of the rule changes will be done through the Bureau of Gambling Control, and the regulator's Director Stephanie Shimazu said, "We will notify card rooms and defer enforcement for a specified period of time to enable card rooms to prepare for this action."
Native American tribes that operate more than 60 casinos in California and employ more than 50,000 workers. They have been lobbying to have the card rooms closed down, and they're not happy with the stance of the BGC. California Nations Indian Gaming Association Chairman Steve Stalling stating that the regulator's decision is a delaying tactic and revealed that they're suing to get the rooms closed.
The card room industry is also unhappy with the decision, with Communities for California Cardrooms Executive Director Austin Lee said, "The Bureau's announcement to revoke game approvals for various versions of blackjack on a statewide basis is unprecedented. It would require cardrooms to significantly adjust operations."
We'll follow this story and update readers as we learn more.