Indian gaming operators vs card rooms, Battlefield: California Court

It’s already yesterday’s news by the time you hear about a lawsuit in America. Many don’t believe, how legally active the country is, but the laws indicate that any misconduct from a registered company can be disputed in the courtroom, therefore people take the advantage of making easy money, to compensate their “bad experience”. However, some lawsuits are more high-end, between companies or institutions, these are the hardest to handle. Our today’s news that was documented by CasinoCrunch will talk about exactly that, companies fighting it out with words in a courtroom.

We may have two sides in the courtroom, but there are no individuals, as a matter of fact, they’re not even a single entity. The companies involved in the lawsuit are casino operators, more specifically the two California tribal casino operators against some local card room operators. The dispute is about the card room operators offering services to customers that are violating the regulations. The tribal casino operators dispute that the regulator is not doing anything about this, so they decided to try it themselves.

What in tarnation is going on?

It turns out that this lawsuit is no small deal for the state of California as some major news outlets like The Times have been actively keeping an eye on it. According to these reports, the two California tribal casino operators are Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. These two entities joined forces against the card rooms to stop the illegal activity, and get rid of some competition while they’re at it.

The allegations that the tribal casino operators are putting forward are quite serious. If found guilty of violating the regulations these card rooms may see some substantial fines coming their way, maybe even a complete shutdown. You see the state of California has banned the so-called “house-banked” games. These are the card games you’d see similar to blackjack, or just blackjack itself. With the house-banked module, players have the ability to bet against the house, which could lead to some tampering with the odds. Card rooms decided to avoid this system and created a similar one called “player-banked” games. This means that the players are serving as the house themselves.

Is this a violation?

The local gambling regulator, Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC) actually greenlit the card rooms’ right to host these types of games back in 2016. However, there were some differences to it. One of the most important conditions was that the player-dealer rotation was comprehensive and had a well thought out schedule. For example, it would change every 60 minutes or so, with 5-minute resting sessions in between.

The already prominent outcries from the tribal casino operators did indeed give the BGC an incentive to start reviewing the regulations. The fact that the lawsuit is still happening, means that the revision is not something the tribes wanted, plus it would take way too long. The announcement about the revision as you can see, fell on deaf ears as the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) was already preparing for legal action. The chairman actually spoke out against the Bureau saying that they were just trying to delay the whole prohibition.

Who is being sued?

There are not so many card rooms affected by the lawsuit, they include Bicycle Casino, Commerce Casino, and Hawaiian Gardens. Also, some properties owned by the porn tycoon Larry Flynt.

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Konstantin Rabin

About the Author: Konstantin Rabin

Konstantin has been working in the financial services industry since 2011. He is over-viewing various updates in the technology, regulation, and market movements. He's passionate about games and has a cute cat named Dog.

2 Comments

    1. Hey Amy, both Rincon, and Santa Ynez are independently suing the card rooms with the help of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association

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