A chart showing cardroom business tax collected by fiscal year for San Jose. The last two years show and estimated $27 million in annual tax collected.

As California voters weigh in this fall on a pair of dueling propositions that would legalize gambling on sports, one of the measures has drawn the ire of public workers unions and cities, including San Jose, that are worried its passage could undercut a chunk of their budgets.

Proposition 26, which would clear the way for sports-betting at California’s tribal casinos, also includes a little-known provision that critics say could threaten the future of cardrooms, including more than a dozen in the Bay Area, such as Artichoke Joe’s in San Bruno, Oaks Card Club in Emeryville and San Jose’s Bay 101 and Casino M8trix.

The measure, written and supported by large gaming tribes in California, would make it easier to sue cardrooms for violating the state’s gambling laws. Tribal casinos see cardrooms as competition and say they are skirting the law in the way they play table games like poker, blackjack and baccarat.

A second ballot measure, Proposition 27, that would legalize online sports gambling, leaves cardrooms alone.

The showdown is yet another wrinkle in the high-stakes battle to control a potential billion-dollar sports gambling industry in California. Voters have been under siege for weeks by ads from both sides in a campaign that has already generated a record $400 million in contributions. While Prop 26 and 27 camps have inundated voters about their bona fides with California’s native tribes and promise to generate millions to fix homelessness, the fight over cardrooms has flown largely under the radar.

At the heart of the dispute is who serves as the banker. Typically, in Las Vegas and tribal casinos, the “house” is the banker. Everyone plays against the house.

But historically in California, cardrooms were forbidden to serve as the banker. Instead, the role was supposed to rotate around the table. But …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment

      

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