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Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees
Opinion
By Opinion
Published 3 weeks ago on
April 24, 2024

SB 549, sponsored by state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), would open the door to frivolous lawsuits against cardrooms such as Fresno's Club One casino, says Adriana Cervantes, a cook at the club. (Shutterstock)

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More than 600 Fresno area residents risk losing their well-paying jobs because elected officials are more interested in pandering to tribal casinos than protecting the livelihoods of their constituents, like myself.

Adriana Cervantes

Opinion

Senate Bill 549, sponsored by state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) is a bad bet for hard-working Central Valley cardroom employees, and if passed, it would have devastating effects on our families, our local economy, and our community.

I have been working at Club One Casino as a line cook for the past four years, and I take pride in my job. Club One’s friendly atmosphere makes me feel valued, supported, and part of a team.

The good wage I earn enables me to provide for my family, and I work in a safe, smoke-free environment that allows me to maintain my health. My job at the cardroom is more than just a paycheck; it’s an opportunity that has helped me grow both personally and professionally.

If SB 549 passes, it will put my job and the jobs of tens of thousands of cardroom employees across California at risk.

Bill Opens Door to Frivolous Lawsuits

The bill will result in frivolous lawsuits, clogging the court system and threatening the livelihoods of employees like myself. If I lose my job, I don’t know if I could find another job with comparable pay and benefits. Cardroom jobs are rare, and I feel fortunate to be employed here, especially in communities where job opportunities are scarce.

California cardrooms are not just gaming establishments; they are significant contributors to the city’s tax revenue, funding public services that are essential to the community.

For example, Club One Casino pays more than $1 million into the City of Fresno General Fund every year. Further, Club One Casino supports numerous non-profits including our beloved Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Across the state, California cardrooms generate $5.6 billion in total economic impact, over 30,000 jobs, and $500 million in taxes statewide.

Recently, my co-workers participated in a rally at the State Capitol against SB 549, with other cardroom employees, city officials and community leaders to show our determination to fight for our jobs and communities.

Lawmakers Shouldn’t Put Our Jobs at Risk

In December, Southern California cardroom employees held a similar protest in front of SB 549 sponsor Newman’s district offices. The message was clear at both rallies: SB 549 is a bad bet for California, and we will not let it harm our livelihoods and neighborhoods.

I urge state lawmakers to vote no on SB 549. Cardroom jobs are essential to my family’s lifestyle and the well-being of our communities. Cardroom enable us to provide for ourselves and our families, enjoy opportunities for growth and family flexibility and contribute to the local economy.

Protect the livelihoods of hard-working Central Valley residents who rely on cardroom jobs to provide for our loved ones and our community.

Vote NO on SB 549!

About the Author

Adriana Cervantes, a certified baking and pastry specialist, is known for her famous cheesecake that she loves sharing with family and friends. Her career at Club One Casino has enabled her to purchase a beautiful home in Old Town Clovis, where she resides with her husband. 

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