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September 8th, 2022 at 4:12:11 PM permalink
A few years ago, there were some rumblings about a lawsuit against certain California card rooms for preventing and even evicting players for playing "banker", even though the law requires the card rooms to offer players the opportunity to bank the game if they wish. Has any lawsuit been filed as of yet, and where along the process have they progressed? Most specifically, a lawyer was trying to recruit plaintiffs to file against eh Commerce Casino in LA, but perhaps there are others as well. Any news or updates? Do card rooms allow players to bank games? Of note, I live in MA and have no plans in the short or long term to play at a CA card room. I'm just curious.

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September 8th, 2022 at 4:21:52 PM permalink
I can't find any reference to a lawsuit against a card room for banning somebody from banking a game. In fact, California card rooms do have banked games, like "California Blackjack," which is standard blackjack but with a player being the back. I think it works like Chemin de Fer or Street Craps; the bank offers up an amount, and the players can bet against the bank until the total bet equals the bank amount.

If anything, the lawsuits I have found were attempts by tribal casinos to prevent card rooms from having player-banked games.
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September 8th, 2022 at 5:37:34 PM permalink
Every game in California in non Indian casinos is banked. What the public doesnt know is that the casinos have paired off to bank each other's games.

Commerce might be banking The Bicycle, while Bicycle is banking Hollywood. These are just theoretical examples-- I dont know who is banking who these days.

Players at any time may bank part or all of a table and whatever they can't bank the "house bank" will cover the balance.

I've never heard of a lawsuit but in California, the land of litigation, anything is possible.

I once played at a Mississippi Stud game at Hollywood Park where a player banked part of the table.
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September 8th, 2022 at 6:39:47 PM permalink
If I may ask, how long ago was this? Was it after the new law was passed, requiring the card room to offer banking to the player? Just curious.

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September 9th, 2022 at 12:07:29 AM permalink
I think the casino has the right to ban whomever and any enforcement would be at the discretion of local law enforcement or the state Attorney General. I believe that is why the lawsuits haven't gone anywhere.

That is why the Indian tribes want Proposition 26 to pass, in addition to giving them the privilege of offering sports betting on tribal land it will enable private qui tam lawsuits against the card clubs for violations of law. The card clubs and the Third Party Providers of Proposition Services (the bankers) are opposed to this, and roped in the cities that host them to have their elected officials object, although it is extremely ironic that largely Latino cities, whose politicians' ancestors enslaved and committed genocide against many of the tribes that they oppose, are playing the race card on Indians.

As far as the law regarding player banking, if you read the game rules on the Attorney General web site you will note this:

The player/dealer position rotates in a systematic and continuous way so that the opportunity to
act as the player/dealer does not constantly remain with a single person for many hands. The
person in player/dealer position may not act as player/dealer position more than two
consecutive hands or rounds of play. The opportunity to act as the player/dealer must be
offered to all seated players after two hands or rounds of play so that a single player cannot
repeatedly act as the player/dealer within the meaning of Oliver v. County of Los Angeles,
(1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 1397, 1408-09 or section 330.11 of the California Penal Code, relating to
gambling establishments and any future regulatory guideline from the California Bureau of
Gambling Control or the California Gambling Control Commission with respect to the operation
of controlled games featuring a player/dealer position.

Oliver relates to a game called "Newjack" which is blackjack to 22, as state law specifically bans "twenty-one" but not blackjack (Penal Code Section 330, "Every person who deals, plays, or carries on, opens, or causes to be opened, or who conducts, either as owner or employee, whether for hire or not, any game of faro, monte, roulette, lansquenet, rouge et noire, rondo, tan, fan-tan, seven-and-a-half, twenty-one, hokey-pokey, or any banking or percentage game played with cards, dice, or any device, for money, checks, credit, or other representative of value, and every person who plays or bets at or against any of those prohibited games, is guilty of a misdemeanor...")

330.11 states:
“Banking game” or “banked game” does not include a controlled game if the published rules of the game feature a player-dealer position and provide that this position must be continuously and systematically rotated amongst each of the participants during the play of the game, ensure that the player-dealer is able to win or lose only a fixed and limited wager during the play of the game, and preclude the house, another entity, a player, or an observer from maintaining or operating as a bank during the course of the game. For purposes of this section it is not the intent of the Legislature to mandate acceptance of the deal by every player if the division finds that the rules of the game render the maintenance of or operation of a bank impossible by other means. The house shall not occupy the player-dealer position.

The bold is the gray area where the Third Party Provider of Proposition Services lie for California games, although traditionally the TPPPS were prop players at a poker table playing their own money just to make short a game wasn't short handed.

Now, in 2019 the state promulgated regulations to enforce the "player/dealer must be offered to all seated players after two hands or rounds of play" part, and indeed end the game if no one wants to act as player/banker other than the TPPPS. The card clubs and the cities fought that and ultimately COVID killed it from moving forward.
Last edited by: calwatch on Sep 9, 2022
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