Home Bill that would allow tribes to sue California cardrooms under fire

Bill that would allow tribes to sue California cardrooms under fire

Protestors have organized to provide vocal opposition to Senate Bill SB 549, also known as the Tribal Nations Access to Justice Act. 

More than 100 people, including elected representatives and cardroom employees, were present in Sacramento to campaign against the proposed legislation enabling California tribes to sue cardrooms. With the bill currently in the general assembly, the tribes – which were recently courted by gambling giant FanDuel – allege their rights are being violated given that they have exclusivity for Las Vegas-style gambling in The Golden State.

Chants could be heard from the protestors which included  “We’re not fine with 549”, while others displayed message banners such as “No on SB 549!” and “Bad Bet For California.”

Local politicians, including mayors and civic representatives, made speeches to warn how the bill could damage cardrooms in California and the knock-on effect of hurting jobs in the state.

Marcel Rodarte, executive director of California Contracts Cities Association, told the protest, “SB 549 is a bill that will negatively harm many of our cities with cardrooms in their communities. Cardrooms are an integral part of our cities as they provide jobs.”

Stark warning on job losses

Tasha Cerda, Gardena city mayor added, “Our two cardrooms have been the backbone of our community as they will provide vital tax services that our city uses to fund vital public services which allow us to provide a better quality of life for our residents and communities,” 

“Our cardrooms employ over 1,200 residents and individuals from surrounding communities. That’s over $47 million in wages a year.”

The California Gambling Association issued a stark warning, outlining that around 32,000 jobs could be lost if SB 549 is passed. That could lead to cardrooms having to downsize or close altogether, which explains why there has been such vociferous opposition.

At the center of the legal dispute is the format of certain card games, whether the facilities act as the “house” or the “bank” and the potential violation of the rights held by the tribes.

Image credit: Via Ideogram

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Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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