Seven tribal casinos in San Diego County, California, are being criticized for allowing COVID-19 to…
Posted on: June 21, 2021, 02:01h.
Final up to date on: June 21, 2021, 04:53h.
Philip Conneller Learn Extra
San Diego’s Fortunate Woman has closed completely, marking the tip of the town’s once-thriving card room trade.
Finish of an period: San Diego’s Fortunate Woman, seen right here, has been offered and its license can’t be revived with out a change to native legal guidelines. (Picture: Fortunate Woman)
The membership’s octogenarian proprietor, Stanley Penn, quietly offered the membership final month to the Household Well being Facilities of San Diego, The San Diego Union-Tribune studies.
It appears the pandemic and nearly a 12 months of compelled closure was the catalyst for Penn to bag up his chips for the ultimate time and head for the exit. He had run the 11-table operation on El Cajon Boulevard for greater than 40 years.
There have been as soon as greater than 100 card rooms in San Diego. The Union-Tribune’s Greg Moran fondly remembers joints like Alibi, Doc’s Lo-Ball Poker, and the Home of Playing cards.
He laments that Fortunate Woman was not solely the final card room within the metropolis — licensed and authorized, not less than — however that Penn was additionally one of many final of California’s “single man card room house owners.” His was a small enterprise the place one particular person just about ran the entire present.
Elsewhere within the state, card rooms at the moment are slick operations, run in emulation of Vegas-style casinos.
Luck Runs Out
In the end, San Diego’s card rooms have been squeezed out of existence by an area ordinance enacted in 1983 that banned the sale, lease, or switch of any present license.
This was to “get rid of the deleterious results that such institutions have on the security, welfare, and morals of the Metropolis,” in response to the language of the legislation. But it surely meant when licensees retired, their companies went with them.
Then the loss of life knell sounded in 1996, when California put a moratorium on issuing any new card room licenses to cap the dimensions of the statewide trade.
Bother With the Legislation
The Fortunate Woman’s final competitor within the metropolis was the Palomar. However its house owners agreed to lose their license and promote up in 2015 after they have been charged by the federal authorities with laundering cash for a world unlawful sports activities betting ring.
Penn had his personal brush with the legislation. In 2016, he was one in all 14 individuals indicted by the FBI following an investigation into unlawful bookmaking on the Fortunate Woman.
Finally, the principle bookie, Sanders Bruce Segal, was sentenced to 37 months in jail, whereas Penn acquired a 12 months’s probation and was permitted to maintain his license.
Legislation May Change
That license is now formally retired together with its proprietor, and there’s presently no solution to get one other throughout the San Diego metropolis limits. However that would change.
Metropolis Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera, whose district contains the location of the Fortunate Woman, advised the Union-Tribune he believes San Diego’s quirky licensing legal guidelines might be doing extra hurt than good by encouraging the proliferation of unlawful playing venues.
Elo-Rivera mentioned he’s prepared to revisit the ordinance, which simply may result in a revival of card rooms in San Diego.
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