No Late-Night Gaming At California Cardrooms As State Installs Curfew

Written By Matthew Kredell on November 25, 2020

A new curfew to address the rising amount of COVID-19 cases in the state will affect California cardrooms and tribal casinos.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a curfew for nonessential businesses, including cardrooms. Beginning last Saturday and lasting until at least Dec. 21, cardrooms must close between the hours of 10 p.m and 5 a.m.

Many California cardrooms have operated outdoors 24/7, trying to recoup some of the losses sustained during the coronavirus shutdown.

Kyle Kirkland, president of the California Gaming Association, expressed frustration with another setback to the cardrooms.

“It is disappointing that the state is implementing a one-size-fits-all,” Kirkland said, “as the cardrooms are one of the only industries with COVID-19 regulations in place and they do not permit mask removal.

“There is no eating permitted at the tables and every table has plexiglass or social distancing between players.  We urge the state and county officials to allow our businesses to continue to safely operate outdoors as we have not been able to open indoors for months.”

California tribal casinos chose their own path

As sovereign nations, California tribal casinos don’t have to abide by the state curfew order.

Some in the Bay Area, such as Graton Resort & Casino, elected to close overnight. Tribal casinos in Southern California are sticking to their usual hours.

But tribal casinos that remain open will likely face some loss in business. The curfew figures to discourage Californians from going out at night.

Worsening COVID-19 rolls back California cardrooms

There are no longer any cardrooms operating indoors in California.

When two cardrooms reopened for indoor operations, it was supposed to be just the beginning. As more California counties improved in tiers, cardrooms would add limited capacity indoor gaming to their outdoor offerings.

Instead, counties have moved backward in tiers. Out of 75 California cardrooms, 70 sit in purple-tier counties.

Nevada County dropped two tiers from orange to purple. Towers Casino, which reopened indoors Sept. 22, was forced to close. The cardroom’s website indicates it is closed until Dec. 29 at the earliest.

Similarly, Casino Club in Redding closed Oct. 30, when Shasta County dropped from the orange tier. It has since moved all the way into the purple tier.

Only one cardroom in the state remains in an orange-tier county with indoor operations possible: St. Charles Place in Sierra County. The small poker room, though, hasn’t reopened.

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Oaks Card ClubALAMEDAPurpleNN
Palace Card RoomALAMEDAPurpleNN
Parkwest Casino 580ALAMEDAPurpleNN
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California Grand CasinoCONTRA COSTAPurpleNN
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Tommy's Casino & SaloonIMPERIALPurpleNN
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Hustler CasinoLOS ANGELESPurpleN10/12
Larry Flynt's Lucky Lady CasinoLOS ANGELESPurpleN10/8
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Marina ClubMONTEREYPurpleNN
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Pinnacle CasinoMONTEREYPurpleNN
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Kings Card Club/ Westlane Cardroom SAN JOAQUINPurpleN 8/26
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Central Coast Casino - Grover BeachSAN LUIS OBISPOPurpleNN
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Oceana (Brooks) Card roomSAN LUIS OBISPOPurpleNN
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Artichoke's Joe's CasinoSAN MATEORedN 9/4
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Ocean View Card roomSANTA CRUZPurpleNN
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The River Card roomSONOMAPurpleNN
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Mike's Card CasinoSTANISLAUSPurpleNN
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LA cardrooms face additional county restrictions

In Los Angeles, cardrooms face even stricter restrictions. The curfew lasts an extra hour, until 6 am, and the county limits outdoor gaming to 50% of capacity.

Beginning Wednesday, Los Angeles County will also prohibit outdoor dining for the next three weeks.

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