San Diego’s Lucky Lady has closed permanently, marking the end of the city’s once-thriving card…
San Diego’s once-booming card room scene is not any extra because the final surviving venue – Fortunate Woman – has not way back closed doorways for good.
Native information shops report that the membership’s proprietor, businessman Stanley Penn, final month quietly offered it to the Household Well being Facilities of San Diego. Mr. Penn had run the operation on El Cajon Boulevard for the higher a part of the previous 4 many years earlier than it was shuttered to by no means once more welcome avid card gamers.
The coronavirus pandemic that pressured the cardboard room and different non-essential companies to stay shut for nearly a 12 months appears to have prompted the enterprise’s everlasting closure.
Fortunate Woman was the final licensed and legally working card video games membership in San Diego. Town as soon as hosted greater than 100 of those venues, however a 1983 regulation handed by the Metropolis Council prohibited the sale, lease or switch of card room licenses, primarily marking the start of the tip of an period.
In different phrases, the measure meant that when holders of card room licenses retired or handed away or gave them up, their enterprise must shut. Metropolis officers mentioned on the time that the regulation aimed to “get rid of the deleterious results that such institutions have on the security, welfare, and morals of town.”
A 1996 state regulation launched a moratorium on new card room licenses to cap the scale of the sector. There at the moment are 86 lively licenses throughout the state, and San Diego is the one metropolis prohibiting their sale or switch to a different holder.
Earlier than its closure final month, Fortunate Woman had been San Diego’s solely operational card room for six years. Its final competitor – Palomar casino – was shuttered in 2015 after federal authorities charged greater than two dozen individuals in a global unlawful sports activities betting ring that used the venue.
A 12 months later, in 2016, Fortunate Woman’s 83-year-old proprietor, Mr. Penn, acquired himself entangled in authorized bother. He was considered one of 14 individuals indicted in a federal investigation into an unlawful sportsbook that had been operated inside the cardboard room for years.
The primary bookmaker, Sanders Bruce Segal, was sentenced to 37 months in jail, whereas the opposite people concerned within the illicit scheme, Mr. Penn included, obtained probation or time served sentences.
Underneath the phrases of the Fortunate Woman proprietor’s deferred prosecution settlement, he had to verify to not break any legal guidelines for a 12 months. If he had violated the phrases of the deal, he may have been sentenced to as much as 5 years in jail.
All prices towards Mr. Penn have been dropped in April 2020.
Supply: Fold‘em: Fortunate Woman closure ends card rooms in San Diego, The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 20, 2021