December 3, 2020 Casino, Poker, Tribal, Legal, Land Based

California stay-at-home order could close California casinos, cardrooms

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that parts of the state could come under a new stay-at-home order, which could close casinos and cardrooms for three weeks.

The order will go into effect in places where ICU availability is under 15%. That would immediately trigger a three-week stay-at-home mandate that would halt large gatherings and close all non-essential businesses.

Newsom said the order will likely begin in the next few days.

“We need to do everything we can to stem the tide,” he said.

California’s casinos are already reeling financially from a shutdown that took place between mid-March and mid-May. Cardrooms didn’t reopen outdoors until August.

Cardrooms in Los Angeles County are already closed through at least 20 Dec. as part of a strict health order. Leaders of some Los Angeles towns have asked County supervisors to spare cardrooms, many of which rely entirely on gaming revenue.

Hawaiian Gardens City Manager Ernie Hernandez said, “Cardrooms have not been identified as a primary source of infections. Communities of color rely heavily on cardroom gaming.” 

Hawaiian Gardens is the smallest city in Los Angeles County with approximately 14,000 residents. Two-thirds of its revenue comes from Gardens Casino, a 60,000 square foot cardroom.

California is also home to dozens of tribal casinos.

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