Many Push Against Forcing LA Card Rooms to Close

Blackjack Hand and a Roll of Money

Over the weekend, news broke that the card rooms throughout LA County are being ordered to shut down. It was devastating for these businesses, many of whom have seen huge revenue dips throughout the year. Many county officials are now pushing against the closure of LA card rooms.

Some officials believe these venues are vital sources of revenue for many cities. They also provide employment for a huge number of people. Today, we’re going to talk about what could happen to LA’s popular card rooms this month.

Let’s get into it!

Los Angeles Could See “More Intense” Regulations Set in Place Soon

California, like all other states around the country, has been seeing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases lately. Hospital ICUs are filling up and some experts fear they could soon become overburdened. It’s a troubling development that state leaders are trying to solve.

Governor Newsom recently warned that more intense regulations could soon be set in place. The vast majority of the state is in the “purple tier” meaning continued high infection rates. These areas may soon be issued a stay-at-home order.

LA County, in particular, is likely going to be hit with intense regulations soon. This area of the state continues to see massive spikes in infections. Mayor Garcetti seems highly likely to crackdown on more businesses over the next couple of weeks.

Some of the businesses in LA are hurting worse than others. As many are aware, the restaurant business has been devastated over the past nine months. It now appears the commercial gambling industry around this area could begin hurting, too.

News recently broke that LA card rooms were being ordered to shut down. It’s a tough blow for these venues, which continue to experience low visitation rates and big drops in revenue. Many complained that these new rules could permanently destroy the industry here.

Recently, several officials in the LA area have begun pushing against the idea of closing down card rooms.

More Officials Call to Keep LA Card Rooms Open at Limited Capacity

California is home to a massive land-based casino industry. The only true Class III casinos here are run by Native American tribes. There are, however, a large number of card rooms run commercially that offer only certain types of table games.

State leaders have no real authority to force Native American casinos to shut down. They are able to close down card rooms. That’s exactly what state leaders called for last weekend as a way to cut down on infections.

Many feel this is a bad idea, though. City leaders in Commerce, Bell Gardens, and Hawaiian Gardens are now planning to request LA card rooms to remain open. They argue these properties are already facing significantly more regulations than other businesses in the state.

Keith Sharp, Gardens Casino’s General Counsel, made his argument for keeping card rooms open to the media this week.

“We recognize that this surge is serious, and we plan to continue to do our part if permitted to do so. But closing us down won’t impact the surge, but it will put thousands of Angelenos out of work right at holiday time, further harm our businesses, and put our cities in deeper financial peril,” he said. 

These officials are scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week to plead their case. Some feel these efforts will be unsuccessful. We’ll offer more updates on this situation over the next few days.

Sports Betting is Proving Hugely Profitable for Many States

Many politicians in California have been pushing for sports betting to become legal for years. Unfortunately, this has proven to be extremely difficult. The efforts to pass a sports betting bill failed in 2020 and it now seems this form of gambling won’t come to the state until at least 2021.

Meanwhile, more than half the country now has legal sports betting bills approved. Most states that allow sports gambling are earning a huge amount of revenue every single month. 2020 has brought massive surges in sports betting revenue.

We can now add Rhode Island to that list. This state legalized sports betting in 2018. This past October, the state set a new revenue record with $4.4 million, up more than 75% compared to October of 2019.

Colorado and New Jersey are also seeing record sports betting figures. It’s a welcome development for these states, both of which are in desperate need of money right now. These new figures will likely push more states to embrace the sports betting industry in 2021.

California’s gambling industry continues to suffer. All of the land-based casinos here are seeing revenue figures drop. To make things worse, all of the LA card rooms are likely to shut down in the near future.

Do you think it’s fair to order California’s card rooms to shut down? When do you expect them to reopen? Let us know in the comments section below!