If approved, a measure in California may allow smaller cardrooms to expand moderately without excessive expansion, while preventing new cardrooms opening in the state.
James Ramos was the original author of the bill. He is the first Native American to become a member of California’s state legislature. The gambling measure, codenamed Ab341 would allow existing cardrooms to grow while keeping their competition in check.
The bill would keep the 1997 25-year cardroom moratorium in effect. No new cardrooms in the state will be allowed to open under the bill. Some of the smaller cardrooms located in the Golden State, however, will be allowed to grow.
Cardrooms with 20 or less tables will be allowed, under the new rules to increase their gaming table count by two in the first year. They will then be permitted to add two tables every four years, up to a maximum of 10 tables.
In August 2022, the previous moratorium that also stopped existing ones expanding expired. It was ended by the local legislature, which failed to pass a new bill to renew the moratorium. This marks the end of a 25-year-old regime.
AB341 however seeks to reimpose the moratorium and limit the expansion of local poker rooms. The moratorium as proposed would start to expand on January 1, 2043.
Local Tribes Support the Measure
Yesterday, the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee voted to move AB341. It currently has support from five Californian tribes including the Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians.
A joint statement was released by the tribes supporting Ramos’ measure. They believe the bill offers a moderate approach to the issue that, if it is passed, will keep the local cardroom market in good condition, while still allowing smaller cardrooms to increase their profitability and remain competitive.
They added that the tribes are eager to work with all those involved in the bill and find the perfect balance for California.
We look forward working with the Legislature and the Tribal community to find a balance that is compatible with California’s support for Tribal gaming.
The tribes release a statement
Concerning Californian cardrooms: Last year, Proposition 26, a controversial measure, threatened the local cardroom industry. This measure would have given Tribal entities the power to take out their rivals.
The state’s cardrooms were fortunate to have the proposition rejected, which secured the livelihoods of their workers.