Chapter 5.16
CARDROOMS

Sections:

5.16.010    Concurrent regulation with State.

5.16.020    License or registration permit required.

5.16.030    License—Application.

5.16.040    License—Investigation—Grant or denial.

5.16.050    Registration permit—Revocation.

5.16.060    Registration permit—Application.

5.16.070    Registration permit—Investigation—Grant or denial.

5.16.080    License or registration permit—Scope—Renewal.

5.16.090    Hearing on denial, suspension or revocation.

5.16.100    Alcoholic beverages prohibited.

5.16.110    Intoxicated persons prohibited.

5.16.120    Loitering prohibited.

5.16.130    Location requirements.

5.16.140    Wagering limits.

5.16.150    Required posting.

5.16.160    Identification.

5.16.170    Number of card tables permitted.

5.16.180    Number of cardrooms permitted.

5.16.190    Nonassignability of licenses.

5.16.200    Use of blank checks prohibited.

5.16.210    Gamblers Anonymous literature.

5.16.220    Security measures.

5.16.230    Hours of operation.

5.16.240    Prohibited games.

5.16.250    Exceptions to chapter regulations.

5.16.260    Violation—Penalty.

5.16.010 Concurrent regulation with State.

It is the intent of this chapter to regulate cardrooms and tables in the County of Santa Cruz concurrently with the State of California, to the extent authorized by, and as required by, the Gambling Control Act codified at Business and Professions Code Section 19800 et seq. and the regulations of the California Department of Justice, Division of Gambling Control. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.020 License or registration permit required.

(A)    Any person or entity must receive a permit from the Attorney General of California prior to owning or operating a cardroom within the unincorporated area of the County of Santa Cruz. In addition, no person shall establish, maintain or operate any cardroom or permit or suffer any cardroom to be established, maintained or operated, upon or within any building, structure, premises or place owned, occupied or controlled by them, unless such cardroom is maintained and operated pursuant to a valid, unexpired and unrevoked cardroom license issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(B)    No person shall serve as an employee of any cardroom or public place for the playing of a card game which is located within the unincorporated area of the County, without having a registration permit therefor, as provided in this chapter. It is also unlawful for the licensee of any cardroom licensed under this chapter to employ any person without such person having a valid registration permit issued pursuant to this chapter. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.030 License—Application.

Only a person or entity operating a cardroom licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter by the County of Santa Cruz as of January 1, 1998, or that person or entity’s successor in interest to the same cardroom operation, is eligible to apply for a cardroom license. Application for the required license shall be made to the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector. The application shall certify the contents of the application under penalty of perjury and shall be signed by the applicant. The application shall contain all of the following:

(A)    The location of the business for which the license is sought, including a specific description of the building or structure within which the cardroom is to be situated, and the specific portion of such building or structure for which a cardroom license is requested. If the entire building or structure is proposed to be used as a cardroom, the application shall so state and shall request a license for the entire building or structure. If only a portion of the building or structure is proposed to be used as a cardroom, the application shall so state, shall describe such portion, and shall request a license for only such portion. No license shall be deemed issued for any portion of any building which the application fails to state is to be used for cardroom purposes, or for which the application fails specifically to request a license;

(B)    The true and complete name(s), Social Security number(s), residence address(es), and date(s) of birth of the owner or owners of the building or structure within which the cardroom is proposed to be maintained;

(C)    The true and complete name(s), Social Security number(s), residence address(es), and date(s) of birth of the person or persons to whom it is requested that a cardroom license be issued;

(1)    If the proposed licensee is an individual, the application shall set forth the name, residence and business address, Social Security number, and date of birth,

(2)    If the proposed licensee is a corporation, the application shall set forth the complete name of the corporation and the State within which it is incorporated, together with its home address and its local address. In addition, the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of the president and secretary, and the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of each shareholder who owns or will own more than 10 percent of all outstanding shares of the corporation shall be provided,

(3)    If the proposed licensee is a partnership, the application shall set forth the full name of all of the partners, and the firm name under which they do business. The addresses, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of all such partners shall also be given;

(D)    A set of clearly identifiable fingerprints and photographs of all of the persons required to be named in the application;

(E)    A statement of any other cardroom licenses or permits issued to the proposed licensee or permittee within the past five years and identifying the issuing jurisdiction and any licenses or permits which have been revoked;

(F)    A statement that the applicant understands and agrees that any business or activity conducted or operated under such application shall be operated in full conformity with all the laws of the State, and with the applicable laws and regulations of this County, and that any violation of any such laws or regulations in such a place of business, or in connection therewith, shall render any permit and license therefor subject to suspension or revocation;

(G)    A statement that the applicant understands and agrees that if a license is issued, the Sheriff or a designated representative shall have authority to inspect the premises and records of any licensee without a search warrant. Those County agencies required to investigate the cardroom premises shall have reasonable access to the premises, and applicants, to enable those agencies to properly and thoroughly conduct their investigation;

(H)    The license fee as established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.040 License—Investigation—Grant or denial.

(A)    Upon receipt of a complete application for a cardroom license, the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector shall forward a copy to the Sheriff with a request that the Sheriff conduct an investigation of the applicant. The license or permit shall not be issued until a clearance of the applicant is issued by the Sheriff. The clearance shall not be issued to any applicant if any of the following circumstances apply:

(1)    The applicant does not possess a current permit in good standing from the Attorney General of the State of California to operate a cardroom.

(2)    Either the applicant or any person specified in SCCC 5.16.030(C)(1), (2) or (3):

(a)    Is under the age of 21 years;

(b)    Has had a previous cardroom license or registration permit revoked for cause by any jurisdiction within the past five years; or

(c)    Has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude within the past five years or has been convicted of a felony, convicted of any crime involving gambling, or convicted of a violation of the Gambling Control Act codified at Business and Professions Code Section 19800 et seq. Crimes of moral turpitude may include but are not limited to offenses involving dishonesty (such as theft, fraud and extortion), lotteries, gambling, larceny, perjury, bribery, prostitution and illicit drugs.

(3)    The applicant has made a false statement in the application for the permit.

(B)    Applicants denied a license shall be notified in writing by the Sheriff, or their designee, of the reason(s) for such denial. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.050 Registration permit—Revocation.

A license to operate a cardroom may be revoked or suspended for any of the following reasons:

(A)    The owner or manager of the cardroom allows house players, shills or dummies to engage in card games;

(B)    The Attorney General revokes the owner’s or operator’s State permit;

(C)    The owner or manager of the cardroom violated any of the provisions of this chapter;

(D)    The owner or manager of the cardroom is convicted of a felony, or convicted of any State or Federal law involving gambling including but not limited to a violation of the Gambling Control Act codified at Business and Professions Code Section 19800 et seq.;

(E)    The owner fails to inform the Sheriff of any change in employment status of a registered employee within 10 days of the change in employment. “Change in employment status” shall include termination of employment, leave of absence, promotion or other change in job title. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.060 Registration permit—Application.

(A)    Application for the required registration permit shall be made to the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector on forms to be provided by that office. The application shall certify the contents of the application under penalty of perjury and shall be signed by the applicant.

(B)    Each and every applicant for a cardroom registration permit shall present themselves at the Sheriff’s office during normal business hours, prior to the beginning of any employment in a cardroom.

(C)    Each applicant shall:

(1)    Complete an application and submit it to the Sheriff’s office;

(2)    Be fingerprinted for the purpose of completing a criminal background check;

(3)    Be photographed;

(4)    Provide any other information that the Sheriff may require.

(D)    The information received by the Sheriff pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be treated as confidential, shall not be mixed or included in any criminal history files, and shall be accessible only to the Sheriff, their designated representatives, and the licensee of the respective licensed cardroom. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4531 § 1, 1999; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.070 Registration permit—Investigation—Grant or denial.

(A)    Upon presentation by the applicant of all information required pursuant to SCCC 5.16.060, the Sheriff shall make an investigation of the applicant, which shall include, but not be limited to, making contact with the Division of Gambling Control of the California Department of Justice. Within 21 days after receipt of the above information, the Sheriff shall either grant or deny a registration permit to the applicant. A permit shall not be issued to any person who: (1) would be disqualified based on any of the applicable licensing criteria set forth in Business and Professions Code Section 19850 et seq.; (2) has had a previous cardroom license or registration permit revoked for cause by any jurisdiction within the past five years; or (3) has been objected to in writing by the Division of Gambling Control of the California Department of Justice. Applicants denied a permit shall be notified in writing by the Sheriff, or their designee, of the reason(s) for such denial.

(B)    When the Sheriff approves the application of any person for a cardroom registration permit, the Sheriff shall issue such person an identification card, which shall be worn in sight, by the permit holder, according to regulations established by the Sheriff. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4531 § 2, 1999; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.080 License or registration permit—Scope—Renewal.

Each license or permit shall only allow the conduct of the business therein licensed, and only by the specified licensee or registration permit holder, and only at the place of business therein specified. Each license or permit issued shall be valid only for the fiscal year for which it was issued and must be renewed for each subsequent fiscal year. In connection with the renewal of each such license or permit, the licensee or registration permit holder shall furnish the license or permit renewal fee established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, and the Tax Collector may require that a complete new application form be filed, pursuant to the requirements of SCCC 5.16.030 and 5.16.060, and the Sheriff may carry out an investigation as specified in SCCC 5.16.040 and 5.16.070. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.090 Hearing on denial, suspension or revocation.

(A)    Any applicant, licensee or permittee who is aggrieved by any action taken in regard to a cardroom license or registration permit may request an appeal hearing before the Board of Supervisors. Request for such hearing shall be in writing and filed with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, and a copy filed with the Sheriff on or before 10 days after the action appealed from was taken. The request shall state the grounds upon which the aggrieved party claims there was an improper denial, suspension or revocation of their license or registration permit.

(B)    Upon receipt of such request for hearing, the Board of Supervisors shall set the matter for hearing not later than 20 days thereafter. The Board may also determine whether to stay the denial, suspension or revocation pending decision on the appeal. Written notice of the time and place of hearing on the matter shall be given by the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to the aggrieved party and to the Sheriff, and upon receipt of the notice of hearing the Sheriff shall forward to the Board of Supervisors and provide to the appellant a report on this action with respect to the matter, attaching all relevant notices and any other materials relied upon by the Sheriff in making the decision.

(C)    Upon hearing of the matter, the Board of Supervisors may take such action or make such orders as the Board deems just and proper in the disposition of the matter. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.100 Alcoholic beverages prohibited.

No person shall possess alcoholic beverages within any cardroom. No cardroom owner, operator or employee shall allow alcoholic beverages to be stored, sold, served or consumed within any cardrooms. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.110 Intoxicated persons prohibited.

No cardroom owner, operator or employee shall permit any person to play any cardroom game while such person is obviously under the influence of intoxicating beverages or drugs. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.120 Loitering prohibited.

No cardroom owner, operator or employee shall permit any person to loiter within the cardroom while card games are in progress. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.130 Location requirements.

In the interest of promoting the public peace, safety and general welfare, cardrooms shall be prohibited in any of the following locations:

(A)    A parcel with residential zoning.

(B)    Within 600 feet of the following uses:

(1)    A public or private preschool or K—12 school;

(2)    A licensed hospital, medical clinic, alcohol or other drug abuse recovery or treatment facility, or community care residential facility providing mental health/social rehabilitation services;

(3)    A public park or playground; or

(4)    A public library. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.140 Wagering limits.

No cardroom owner, operator or employee shall permit any of the following:

(A)    A person making aggregate bets in excess of $200.00 in the same hand;

(B)    Simultaneous hands or betting squares by the same player;

(C)    Bets made by any owner, operator, or employee while on duty;

(D)    Bets made by a shill or dummy player. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.150 Required posting.

The following information must be posted in a conspicuous place in the cardroom:

(A)    The minimum buy in, table limits, and any other charges assessed of players at a table. Players shall not be charged based on the amount of the bets made, the size of the “pot,” the winnings collected, or the amount of money changing hands;

(B)    A set of detailed house rules applicable to the games played, which shall be posted in the form of a printed rule book;

(C)    A copy of the current valid County permit and the State permit issued by the Attorney General under the Gambling Control Act;

(D)    Copies of the identifying badges of each owner, operator and employee;

(E)    Each cardroom’s hours of operation;

(F)    If the cardroom is to remain open between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., a notice that a security guard who has a current license or permit under Chapter 5.36 SCCC shall be on duty on the premises;

(G)    A notice that doors of the cardroom shall remain unlocked during all hours of operation;

(H)    A notice of the wagering limits established pursuant to SCCC 5.16.140. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.160 Identification.

Each owner, operator and employee of a cardroom shall wear an identifying badge approved by the Sheriff and bearing on its face a legend identifying the bearer, while the owner, operator or employee is in or around the cardroom premises. The badge shall be worn on the body in a location visible to the public. If a person required to wear a badge is present during a card game, the badge shall be worn in a location easily visible to all persons playing in the card game. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.170 Number of card tables permitted.

No more than eight card tables may be permitted in a cardroom. There shall be no more than 10 players and one dealer at any table. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.180 Number of cardrooms permitted.

A maximum of one cardroom shall be permitted to operate within the unincorporated area of the County of Santa Cruz. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.190 Nonassignability of licenses.

Any time a cardroom changes ownership, the new owner must apply and qualify for a cardroom license as provided by this chapter. No license may be sold, transferred, or assigned by the permittee or by operation of law. Any sale, transfer or assignment, or attempt to sell, transfer or assign, of the license shall be deemed to constitute a voluntary surrender of such license, which shall thereafter be deemed terminated and void. This section does not restrict the right of any cardroom owner to sell, transfer or assign ownership interest in the cardroom itself. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.200 Use of blank checks prohibited.

No cardroom owner, operator or employee shall accept or cash any personal check which does not bear a dollar amount on the face of the check. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.210 Gamblers Anonymous literature.

All cardrooms shall make literature published by Gamblers Anonymous easily available in a visible location in the cardroom. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.220 Security measures.

All cardrooms shall adopt a written plan, reviewed and approved in advance by the Sheriff, to provide for the safety and security of patrons. In addition, each cardroom shall take the following security measures:

(A)    The business records, papers, reports, audits, and books of account shall be made available for inspection and copying to the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector upon reasonable notice by the Sheriff.

(B)    Any owner, operator or employee of the cardroom shall have an affirmative duty to immediately report all crimes occurring on the premises to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff. [Ord. 5290 § 15, 2019; Ord. 4531 § 3, 1999; Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.230 Hours of operation.

Card tables or cardrooms may operate 24 hours a day. It is unlawful for any owner, proprietor, manager or other person having charge or control of any public place kept for the purpose of playing cards to permit any person, other than such owner, proprietor or manager and the employees regularly employed in and about the same, to enter, remain or be therein between the hour of 2:00 a.m. and the hour of 6:00 a.m. of each and every day of the week, including Sunday; unless, if during the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., when the cardroom is open, a security guard who has a current license or permit under Chapter 5.36 SCCC is on duty on the premises. The doors of a cardroom shall remain unlocked during all hours of operation. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.240 Prohibited games.

This chapter is not intended to permit or license any business for the playing of any game prohibited by the laws of the State of California, nor to permit or license any employee for such unlawful purpose. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.250 Exceptions to chapter regulations.

The provisions set forth in this chapter shall not apply to card tables maintained in any bona fide hotel, or in any private residence or clubroom, where, for the use of which, no consideration is charged. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].

5.16.260 Violation—Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof is punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00 or by imprisonment in the County jail for a period of not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each person is guilty of a separate offense for every day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of this chapter is committed, continued or permitted by such person, firm or corporation and is punishable therefor as provided by this chapter. [Ord. 4508 § 2, 1998].