A Grover Beach cardroom that wants to offer no-limit poker to its patrons is getting help from the City Council, which plans to alter a law that restricts betting amounts for licensed establishments.
At its Oct. 19 meeting, members of the council held the first reading of an amended city ordnance that would allow so-called “no limit” wagers.
A current city ordnance limits betting on card games to no more than $500 for a single wager and no more than $1,000 for a single hand. According to city staff, a law passed by state legislators in 2006 allowed local municipalities like Grover to remove betting restrictions on card games, allowing card rooms to offer popular no-limit games like Texas Hold’em.
“That raises the stakes,” said Grover Beach Police Chief John Peters, who didn’t have any complaints about the proposed ordinance.
The policy change was requested by David Sterns, owner of the Central Coast Casino. In a letter to the city, Sterns said the inability to hold no-limit games was hurting his business. According to Sterns, four competing cardrooms in SLO County, located in Atascadero, Cayucos, Paso Robles, and Oceano, are all able to offer no-limit poker games.
“In short, all the other SLO County cardrooms are offering a game that technically I’m not allowed to offer,” Sterns, who’s owned the Central Coast Casino since 1998, wrote. “I’m quickly losing market share to my competitors, and have 12 employees that are really struggling.”
At the meeting, Peters told the council that he visited Sterns’ cardroom and reviewed the business’ security plan and found them both in compliance with the city’s policies and with regulations from the state’s gambling control board.