The owner of a new card room at the site of the old Magnolia House Casino hopes to be open by the spring.
A representative for Xiaodong Wang told the California Gambling Control Commission this week that their group, Epoch Casino, Inc., is currently remodeling the Magnolia House Casino in Rancho Cordova — just east of Sacramento — and “is hoping” to open this spring, a CGCC spokesperson told PlayCA via email.
That opening, however, is contingent upon Wang meeting the criteria set forth in his temporary card room owner license.
What must happen before new card room can open?
There are 15 total criteria Wang must meet. The two most important?
- The co-borrower for the loan funding the acquisition of the Magnolia House card room license, Guiying Cui, can in no way contribute to or financially benefit from the new card room. The only exception to that condition is if Cui applies for and is granted a card room business license of his own.
- Before opening the new card room, Wang must provide the CGCC with:
- A current, valid business license for the card room from the City of Rancho Cordova
- Documents showing the new card room’s chips-in-use account was established in accordance with the California Code of Regulations
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If Wang meets those requirements, California will add its 60th up-and-running card room. The license is valid through Oct. 31, 2024, and it allows for 11 poker tables.
This will be Wang’s first foray into owning a card room of his own. He is also the owner of Blue Ocean Sky LLC, a third-party player proposition services company that works with card rooms to offer modified table games.
Magnolia House Casino history
Magnolia House was at first just a restaurant. It began offering poker games in 2019. It shut down in 2020, though, due to allegations it broke state gambling finance laws. The previous Magnolia House Casino owner, Angad Sahota, Inc., transferred all relevant licenses — including a liquor and catering license — to Wang’s Epoch Casino, Inc.
Currently, 84 card rooms have licenses to operate in California. However, only 59 of those are up and running. Wang’s new Rancho Cordova location would be the 60th.
On Jan. 1, a moratorium placed on new California card rooms opening since 1995 ended. That meant, for the first time in nearly 30 years, companies or individuals could apply for new card room licenses.
This isn’t the case with Wang, though. He acquired his license via a transfer from the old Magnolia House owner.