California Cardrooms Protest Against New Regulations

Cardrooms in California are protesting against proposed changes in the rules that would affect their “player-banked” games.

The California Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC) released a draft for upcoming regulations that aim to modify how cardrooms in California conduct the popular games they called “player-banked.” In these games, the house is actually not the casino but a “third-party proposition player.” Their job is to pay out winnings and collect losses made by players of the game.

The current state of affairs suggests that players need to rotate the position between players and dealers every one hour. There’s a certain loophole in this system. Players can decline to be dealers or “the house.” This way, the house is basically always one player, which doesn’t make these games much different from traditional casino games.

The new changes propose that all players will have to take the role of the bank, and that would be switched every two rounds. If a player refuses to have a banking role, they would have to leave the game. Moreover, if no player wants to be the bank, the game will have to stop.

The California Bureau of Gambling Control already had several hearings about this issue during the last year. Moreover, they plan to conduct several other hearings that will be concerned with the proposed changes in the rules. The hearings will take place on Dec. 18.

One of the main reasons why such rules were proposed, according to the BGC, is that the Department of Justice of the state of California was investigating numerous issues that are in any way related to gaming. Moreover, they are looking forward to receiving “input and engagement from the public.”

How is it that the Department of Justice is all of a sudden interested in cardroom operations in the state of California? All of that stems from the financial problems that are currently underway, and that, among others, includes the $3.1 million settlement that the Hawaiian Gardens Casino reached with the Attorney General of California this week.

Main Objector

The main organization that opposed the suggested changes was the California Gaming Association (CGA). The lobby group currently represents a total of 72 cardrooms that are located all over the Golden State. According to them, the entire cardroom industry would be killed, and numerous communities devastated by the changes.

However, that’s not the only thing that the CGA is concerned about. According to them, the entire industry would crash, which would result in thousands of jobs being lost.

Moreover, the state and local tax revenue that is made from cardroom games is going to drop significantly should the suggested changes become implemented.

The things may or may not change in California, but one thing is certain — things work pretty well as they are right now, and the way this is going to end is still not certain at this moment. In other words, the BGC will conduct the hearings on Dec. 18 and decide what they should ultimately do.

If they start implementing the proposed changes, that’s definitely going to cause a lot of clashes between cardroom operators and the BGC.

Cardrooms definitely bring significant profit to the state’s coffers via taxes that they pay, and by implementing new changes, this could be cut down significantly. The state of California definitely doesn’t lack money in its pockets, as it is the single richest state in the US.

However, people losing their jobs would definitely result in overall discontent. Hopefully, they will reach an agreement that will benefit both sides.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.