June 4, 2023

California is pausing opening new cardrooms for the following 20 years.

On Monday, Might 22, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Meeting Invoice 341, which establishes a moratorium on California issuing new cardroom licenses for the following 20 years. Smaller present cardrooms might be allowed so as to add restricted new tables within the meantime.

Join The Localist, our each day electronic mail publication with handpicked tales related to the place you reside. Subscribe right here.

The invoice was launched by Assemblymember James Ramos, D-San Bernardino.

“I’m glad to have introduced the tribes and cardrooms collectively in a historic consensus that has resulted within the bipartisan AB 341 changing into regulation,” Ramos is quoted as saying in a information launch issued Tuesday. “I deeply admire Gov. Newsom’s help for AB 341, which can assist make sure the vitality of the gaming business by permitting for measured cardroom development with out overexpansion over the following 20 years.”

The invoice successfully restarts a moratorium first established by the Playing Management Act of 1997, which prevented new cardrooms from opening and present ones from increasing. That act had been repeatedly prolonged by the Legislature earlier than lastly expiring on Jan. 1 of this yr.

Below AB 341, no new cardrooms can open earlier than Jan. 1, 2043. However present cardrooms with fewer than 20 playing tables can add as much as 10 new tables throughout that point. The enlargement would occur in a staggered style, with two new tables capable of be added within the first yr after which two new tables each 4 years after that.

Traditionally, cardrooms and tribes — opponents in California’s playing business — have discovered themselves at odds up to now. In 2022, they got here out on reverse sides of Prop. 26, which might have allowed casinos to take cardrooms to court docket over alleged violations of state playing guidelines.

In distinction, AB 341 was supported by cardrooms and greater than 40 tribes, together with the Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians. The invoice was accredited 68-1 within the Meeting in March and 32-0 within the State Senate on Might 11.

“The overwhelming help for AB 341 by state legislators, tribes and cardrooms aligns with the desire of California voters who’ve constantly stood with Indian tribes in help of gaming on federally-recognized tribal lands whereas opposing overexpansion of gaming throughout the state,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin is quoted as saying within the information launch.

“This new regulation will present smaller cardrooms and their communities the chance to develop over time and create new jobs and native financial advantages with out oversaturating the gaming market,” Keith Sharp, president of the California Cardroom Alliance, was quoted as saying in the identical launch.