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Five California State Legislators Send Letter Asking to Open L.A. County Cardrooms Outside

the gardens casino

The Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens.


STAFF REPORT • September 28, 2020

Today, a letter from five state legislators representing hard-hit cities with cardrooms in Los Angeles County was sent to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors calling for the safe opening of the cardrooms outdoors in their cities.

The letter was signed by Assemblymembers Mike Gipson, Patrick O’Donnell, and Wendy Carillo and by State Senators Steven Bradford and Bob Archuleta.

We are writing to express our support for the reopening of cardrooms in our communities of color, Compton, Bell Gardens, Hawaiian Gardens, and Commerce.

As these unprecedented times continue, we must continue to keep public health as a top priority. However, we must recognize the detriment to the cardrooms industry in our low-income communities. Los Angeles County must adapt to the industry in order for the industry to continue operations, even at an outdoor limited capacity, during the State of Emergency.

At the state level, we have adopted beyond our comfort zone, such as with outdoor gambling, and we encourage Los Angeles County to allow the cardroom industry the option to safely resume operations. The Outdoor Operations of Cardrooms guidelines were released per the Statewide Public Health Officer Order released on July 13, 2020, cardrooms must follow the guidelines issued in order to preserve public health, safety, and welfare.

The new Blueprint for Safer Economy outlines when and how counties, and the businesses within those counties, can reopen based on the number of daily COVID-19 new cases and positive tests. Under the new Blueprint cardrooms in Los Angeles County can reopen outside with modifications.

California’s Cardroom industry generates over 32,000 jobs and approximately $5.6 billion in annual impact on cities and the state’s economy. Tax revenue generated by California Cardrooms total roughly $500 million, with $398.8 in state taxes and $100.0 million in local jurisdiction gaming taxes.

In Los Angeles County Cardrooms account for 13,463 direct/indirect jobs and the total economic impact is $2.3 billion.

It is vital that the cardrooms industry be allowed to reopen as soon as possible, either in their traditional or modified outdoor operations, so that (1) our predominantly black and Latino residents can get back to work and not suffer the wide negative consequences from the federal benefits reductions and (2) restore our cities’ major sales tax revenue source in order to solidify our position of being able to serve as the last safety net for our communities of color, with the ability to re-hire city staff safely and expand essential services in low-income communities.

We thank you for your leadership during these unprecedented times and ask you to allow cardrooms to resume operations even at an outdoor limited capacity.


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