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New state law will slow growth gaming

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation meant to restrict the growth of California’s gaming industry for the next 20 years.

Assembly Bill 341, which Newsom signed into law May 21, returns provisions sponsored by the cardroom industry in the 1997 Gambling Control Act which kept California from issuing new cardroom licenses, according to a statement.

Now, cardrooms with fewer than 20 gambling tables may add as many as 10 tables during the next 20 years. Two additional tables during the first year the law is in effect, and up to two more tables every four years after that, will be permitted.

That will allow for some growth without too much expansion, according to the statement.

AB 341 had overwhelming bipartisan support in the state legislature. Its sponsors included the Cahuilla Band of Indians, Commerce Casino & Hotel, Hawaiian Gardens Casino, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

“The support for AB 341 … aligns with the will of California voters, who have stood with Indian tribes in support of gaming on federal tribal lands, while opposing overexpansion of gaming across the state,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin in the statement.

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