Tribes from California Lose Card Room Exclusivity Lawsuit

Three tribes that operate casinos in California reportedly lost a lawsuit against this state. They were filing suits over who should be the only official group to offer the so-called house-banked games such as baccarat and blackjack.

The three Native American tribes are the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. They filed a suit against the State of California, as well as against its Governor Gavin Newson. It was filed back in January when the three tribes claimed that there had been a violation of their gaming compacts since there were commercial casinos in this state that offered house-banked games. In other words, commercial casinos allegedly offered games where players play against the house instead of playing against each other.


According to a report by that was published on Thursday, the three tribes argued that they have an exclusive right to house-banked games in the state of California. They have negotiated their gaming compacts back in 2015 and 2016, and have been offering games such as blackjack and baccarat in their casinos. However, their exclusivity was violated after the California Bureau of Gaming Control published guidelines for new cardrooms which suggest a concept of “rotating house.” In other words, players can play games such as blackjack and baccarat without a dealer, as players would take turns being a dealer.

The Tribes’ Take on Rotating-House

The tribes were not content with how all of that turned out, as they assumed casinos would insert the so-called third-party position players who are people employed by private companies that act as dealers. The thing is, all competitors don’t like being the house in these new rules, so it all ends up to one person being the dealer and the house in commercial casinos, leaving no differences between commercial and tribal casinos.

But Judge John Menendez decided to dismiss the lawsuit. He explained that the compacts’ of tribes do not have the exclusivity provisions such as the ones that were inked back in 1999. He stated that the tribes could only have the exclusivity that had been given to them under the state’s constitution’s provisions.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation owns and runs a casino called Cache Creek Casino Resort that is located north of the Sacramento city, and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians run Viejas Casino and Resort. Finally, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation owns and runs a casino called Sycuan Casino Resort. Both of them are located in San Diego County.

According to Kyle Kirkland from the California Gaming Association, the Indian tribes just tried to eliminated competition that way. He added that they were pleased with the decision by the court to dismiss the lawsuit. The trio of tribes did not even make it to the court, but they will probably not remain silent on this matter and are expected to make an official statement or take additional legal action.

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