Earlier this month, the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and the Santa Ynez of Chumash Mission Indians decided to file a lawsuit against several card rooms in the state of California. The card rooms and gaming tribes of the state have been in a fight for some time now as to who has the right to offer house-banked card games like pai gow poker and blackjack.
The action may result in the conflict coming to an end but what will happen is anyone’s guess. Card rooms in California have offered house-banked games like blackjack for three decades. Operators have been able to skirt around the law and offer such games by allowing players to act as the dealer. The deal will rotate among those at the table and the house will take a cut that is predetermined.
Of course, the tribal casinos are not happy with this outcome. The tribes are not happy with the way their exclusivity is being messed with but they are also unhappy as to how the dealing is being completed. In a ruling year ago, former regulator Rob Lytle signed an opinion that the deal did not have to be rotated among players but a third party proposition player could do so when a player declines to deal.
This new lawsuit is basically the last opportunity for the tribes to be able to claim a victory in the matter. But the courts might not rule in their favor. Games have often been allowed in the state via loopholes, so any changes might be few and far between or the court may decide that the loophole is fine and card rooms can carry on as they have been.
The card room industry is successful due to such games and the loss of the offering would result in the state losing jobs as well as millions in generated revenues.