BGC Public Workshops – January 2020

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The Bureau of Gambling Control recently held a workshop to discuss proposed changes to regulations regarding the player-dealer rotation. These changes would not only eliminate thousands of jobs from Californians, but would severely impact the local communities where cardrooms stand.

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Over 80 Knights gathered at the Ben Ali Shrine Center in Sacramento to rally against the proposed changes to the player-dealer rotation. We all wore our matching shirts to show that we are not just Third-Party Proposition Players, but members of a tight-knit community. We also brought multiple signs reading  “Coexist,” “There Is Room For All of Us,” and “Save Our Jobs.” The room quickly filled beyond its capacity of 500 people, and our Knights stood firmly, fighting for what’s right by holding their signs high for all to see.

In all, there were over 100 speakers who addressed the Bureau with various explanations of how cardroom jobs have changed their lives and how these proposed changes could be detrimental to their families and communities. Many had uniquely compelling stories. One woman didn’t even work with casinos but was from the town of Hawaiian Gardens, and mentioned seeing drastic changes in her city from the time when cardrooms didn’t exist. Another speaker, a cardroom employee, described a traumatic story of how his mother passed away, leaving him as the sole provider for his 12 siblings. Through tears, he was able to tell his story to the poker-faced panel, receiving wild applause after he emphasized the importance of why the Bureau shouldn’t change the player-dealer rotation.

A handful of Knights also spoke and shared insightful and emotional stories. David Lee started his compelling statement having the panel write down a name; Ava Lee, the name of his daughter, who would be affected by these changes. Emma Seche talked about how Knighted accepts her for who she is, not ever feeling like she has to act or identify in a specific way. Isaac Trumbo was full of questions for the panel, including why we are continually fighting a battle that we don’t need to fight since there is room for everyone.

We hope that the mass amounts of personal stories and sympathy shown at the workshop on December 18th made it clear to the Bureau of Gambling Control that we do matter, we do make a difference, and we deserve to be here just as our neighbors do. Thank you to everyone that came out to support and to those who wrote letters!

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