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Guest Opinion by Citrus Heights Vice Mayor Jeff Slowey–
For decades, cardrooms have been making multi-million-dollar investments in our communities through tax revenues, local jobs and capital improvements.
As one of the Sacramento area’s newest cardrooms, Stones Gambling Hall has followed this familiar path. They are an active community partner, dedicated to a community existence beyond just serving the entertainment needs of Sacramento.
Stones is not just a gathering place but also dedicated to giving back to our community. For example, last year, they held their “Big 24-hour” giveback benefitting Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE), a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County. For every person who walked through their doors that day, Stones donated $100 to WEAVE, resulting in a $75,000 donation.
This giveback event exemplifies Stone’s daily commitment to continuing the new wave of corporate community involvement in Sacramento and across the state. It’s the kind of event that you see hosted by cardrooms throughout California that directly benefit local cities, nonprofit organizations, and families.
Additionally Stones has a private room in the back that any community member or group can reserve for free to hold various gatherings.
Beyond these philanthropic efforts, California cardrooms like Stones Gambling Hall also result in a daily, direct community benefit, producing more than 23,000 of the high-quality jobs in our state. Many of these jobs are living wage jobs that require little prior training and are often based in underserved communities.
In addition, cardrooms generate between $1.5-2 billion in economic activity statewide and almost $800 million in wage income for California workers. Cardrooms also contribute to funding the vital, local public services critical to our residents.
I encourage the Attorney General and policymakers to continue to take into account the positive impact cardrooms have in our communities.
On its surface, a small change to how cardrooms administer their games may not appear to have an effect on the daily lives of Californians, but as evidenced above, further restrictions on our California cardrooms’ ability to operate would have a direct, negative impact on hundreds of thousands of our residents, local businesses and city services.
Our communities are all the better for their community partners that actively engage with and contribute to them. We must continue to work together to find a solution to ensure the industry’s continued survival, and the continued added benefit to our communities. That way, we all thrive.
Jeff Slowey is a four-term member of the Citrus Heights City Council and is currently serving as the city’s vice mayor. He can be contacted at JSlowey@citrusheights.net.
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