Despite a cardroom moratorium in California, a new cardroom is being built in El Dorado Hills. How can that be?
The moratorium’s impact on California cardrooms can vary, so we are taking a closer look at how plans for a new cardroom came about.
Here’s what you need to know:
Randy Yaple behind the new business
Last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 341, reinstating a new moratorium on the expansion of card rooms in California.
However, that moratorium does not apply to licenses that were already acquired — and the owner just hasn’t done anything with it yet. That is the case with the new cardroom development in El Dorado Hills.
It’s been revealed that Randy Yaple is the registrant for the new poker room location. Yaple, who has been part of the cardroom industry since 2002, bought the license of the now-closed Blacksheep Casino in Cameron Park in 2014. And that is the license Yaple is using for this El Dorado Hills facility.
However, Yaple likely will not operate the cardroom. The Sacramento Business Journal reports Yaple is currently in negotiations to sell his license to another entity.
License conditions prior to opening
Before the new cardroom can hang out its shingle as the new cardroom in El Dorado Hills, it must meet several conditions laid out in the Commission’s regulations. In accordance with Business and Professions Code section 19824, subdivision (b), the Commission imposed the following conditions:
- The company must furnish the Bureau of Gambling Control with the following prior to opening for business:
- A current and fully completed Business Entity: Supplemental Information, CGCC-CH2-06 (New 05/20), or its most current successor form, which includes the new address of the gambling establishment
- Owner-Licensee must comply with applicable relocation requirements pursuant to California Code of Regulation, Title 4, Division 18, Chapter 7, Article 1, Section 12364
- A current and valid business license issued by the County of El Dorado for the gambling establishment
- A current reviewed and approved Safety and Security Plan, as required by California Code of Regulations, title 4, sections 12370 and 12372
- A current Emergency and Evacuation Plan, as required by the California Code of Regulations, title 4, section 12370, that has been approved by the responsible authorities
- A current and complete Chart of Accounts, as required by California Code of Regulations title 4, section 12312
- The card room Business Licensee may not open or offer controlled games until the Bureau of Gambling Control has inspected the card room and determined the card room is in compliance with all pertinent regulatory standards.
To get a better understanding of the meeting’s discussion regarding the placement of the condition for the new cardroom, visit the California Gambling Control Commission website.
It’s also worth noting that the new moratorium does not affect all California cardrooms. It was meant to prevent California’s biggest cardroom casinos, such as Commerce Casino, The Gardens Casino and Parkwest Bicycle Casino, from growing and stiffening gambling competition for tribes.
A classic no longer in business
The former Blacksheep Casino was based out of Cameron Park in California. A fairly small outfit, the casino was nevertheless very popular with pundits who lived nearby.
Located in a small neighborhood shopping center, the facility only had space for two nine-player tables. This meant that anyone who came in after the tables were full was going to be waiting.
The games at Blacksheep were card games only. Blinds varied, and buy-ins could range from $40 to $200, depending on the night and game. While most games were traditional like poker and blackjack, other exciting games such as 200 NL were also played.
Like most casinos, tournaments were available at the site on specific nights or at specific times.
Blacksheep Casino didn’t have slot machines — games that are usually a big attraction at casinos. Its small size and lack of game diversity were all factors that contributed to the casino’s demise.