The bill was supported by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), California Cardroom Alliance, Communities for California Cardrooms, California Cities for Self-Reliance JPA and Sheriff’s Employee Benefits Association. Some of those who supported the bill were: California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), California Cardroom Alliance, Communities for California Cardrooms, California Cities for Self-Reliance JPA, Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN) and Sheriff’s Employee Benefits Association.
This new bill restores provisions sponsored by the cardroom industry in the Gambling Control Act of 1997, which barred California from offering new cardroom licenses. This moratorium was periodically extended by the Legislature for 25 years before it expired on January 1, 2023 due to time restrictions. The new legislation also allows licensed cardrooms the ability to manage less that 20 gambling tables, and add up to 10 more tables in the next 20-year period. The bill allows cardrooms to add up to 2 tables per year in the first 12 months after it is passed. This will allow for continued growth. I am grateful to Gov. Newsom’s support for AB 341, which will help ensure the vitality of the gaming industry by allowing for measured cardroom growth without over-expansion over the next 20 years.”
Approval of the State Assembly and the Senate:
The bill AB341 was officially validated by the California State Assembly, by a vote of 68-1 in March 2023, and by the State Senate, by a unanimous vote of 32-0, in early May. Additionally, the legislation was sponsored by the Cahuilla Band of Indians, Commerce Casino & Hotel, Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Kings Card Club, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians.In this regard, Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin, said:
“The overwhelming support for AB 341 by state legislators, tribes and cardrooms aligns with the will of California voters who have consistently stood with Indian tribes in support of gaming on federally recognized tribal lands while opposing over-expansion of gaming across the state.”
Keith Sharp, President of the California Cardroom Alliance, added:
“This new law will provide smaller cardrooms and their communities the opportunity to grow over time and create new jobs and local economic benefits without over-saturating the gaming market.”Presented by the aforementioned Assemblyman Ramos, AB 341 was also co-sponsored by Assembly members Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Mike Gipson (D-Compton), Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), and its principal co-authors are State Senators Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Redlands). The bill was also co-authored by Assemblymen Evan Low (D- Cupertino), Greg Wallis, (R-Rancho Mirage) and State Senators Bill Dodd (D-Napa).