BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 441|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 441
          Author:   Hall (D)
          Amended:  3/4/10 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           SENATE GOVERNMENTAL ORG. COMMITTEE  :  9-0, 6/22/10
          AYES:  Wright, Harman, Calderon, Denham, Florez, Negrete  
            McLeod, Padilla, Price, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Oropeza, Wyland

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  Not relevant

           SUBJECT  :    Local gambling

           SOURCE  :     Author

           DIGEST  :    This bill modifies provisions of the Gambling  
          Control Act as it relates to the limit on increases in the  
          number of gambling tables that a local jurisdiction may  
          authorize without voter approval.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Provides for the licensure and regulation of various  
             legalized gambling activities and establishments by the  
             California Gambling Control Commission and the  


                                                                AB 441

             enforcement of those activities by the Department of  
             Justice (DOJ).  

          2. Authorizes a local jurisdiction to permit controlled  
             gambling, consistent with state law, if it has a local  
             gambling ordinance in effect, as specified.
          3. Provides that an amendment of an ordinance permitting an  
             increase of gambling of less than 25 percent when  
             compared to that authorized on January 1, 1996 may occur  
             without voter approval. 

          4. Authorizes a local jurisdiction to increase that number  
             referenced in Section 19961 of the Business and  
             Professions Code by two tables, regardless of whether  
             that increase would equal or exceed 25 percent of the  
             number of tables authorized on January 1, 1996.  

          5. Requires that any amendment to a local jurisdiction  
             ordinance relating to gambling establishments or the  
             Gambling Control Act is required to be submitted to DOJ  
             for review and comment before the ordinance is adopted  
             by the local jurisdiction.  

          6. Places a moratorium on the authorization of legal gaming  
             by a local governing body or local electors and an  
             expansion of gambling, as defined, until January 1,  

          This bill:

          1. Deletes an existing provision of the Gambling Control  
             Act that allows a local jurisdiction to increase the  
             number of gambling tables by two, regardless of whether  
             that increase would equal or exceed 25 percent of the  
             number of tables authorized on January 1, 1996, and,  
             instead, authorizes a local jurisdiction to amend its  
             local gaming ordinance, without voter approval, to  
             permit an increase by two gaming tables that may be  
             operated in a gambling establishment compared to the  
             number authorized on January 1, 2010.

          2. Makes it explicit that a local jurisdiction may exercise  
             the authority provided by this section only one time,  


                                                                AB 441

             but this authority shall be in addition to any  
             authorization under any other law for a local  
             jurisdiction to increase the number of gambling tables  
             that may be operated.


          According to the author's office, this bill is necessary to  
          clarify some confusion in the provisions of current law  
          that allow for adding gaming tables at card clubs.  The  
          existing moratorium prohibits local jurisdictions from  
          amending ordinances to authorize additional gaming without  
          voter approval.  However, there are exceptions.  Currently,  
          local jurisdictions may allow card clubs to increase the  
          number of tables in their establishments by 24.99 percent.   
          If they have 12 or fewer tables, they can authorize an  
          increase of up to four tables.  These are two separate  
          sections and some have argued that a local jurisdiction is  
          not restricted from invoking both in order to allow for  
          such expansion without voter approval.

          This bill is intended to clarify that local jurisdictions  
          can amend the provisions of their ordinances to allow for  
          such expansion only once.  This bill provides that any such  
          expansion is based on the number of tables authorized as of  
          January 1, 2010, so as to allow the two-table expansion on  
          top of any expansion that has been authorized already.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT :   (Verified  8/2/10)

          California Gaming Association
          Capital Casino Card Club
          Lucky Derby Card Club
          Lucky Lady Card Club
          Village Club

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/2/10)

          California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    Proponents contend that this bill  


                                                                AB 441

          is necessary to correct a problem created by an ambiguous  
          and poorly drafted law.  Two separate sections of law  
          provide for a modest expansion in the number of tables an  
          existing card club may put into service and two conflicting  
          legal opinions on the implementation of those two sections  
          have left card clubs and local jurisdictions unsure of what  
          they can and cannot do.  Proponents claim that this measure  
          is designed to bring clarity to the provisions authorizing  
          local jurisdictions to amend their ordinances for a modest  
          expansion of existing card clubs.  Proponents contend that  
          this bill will prevent some card clubs from being  
          considered in violation of current law even though current  
          law is confusing and conflicting.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    Writing in opposition, the  
          California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion, emphasizes  
          that, "AB 441 allows for an increase in the number of  
          allowed tables in cardrooms/clubs without the voters'  
          consent, as required under current law."    

          TSM:mw  8/2/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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