Gardena Mayor Asks Legislators To Act To Head Off Severe Cuts In Critical Services That Cities Provide



SACRAMENTO, CA—Testifying at a special hearing convened by state legislators
to learn more about mismanagement within a state agency that threatens to affect
the financial health of several California cities, Gardena Mayor Tasha Cerda, who
also chairs California Cities for Self-Reliance, a regional group of seven LA County
cities, pressed state leaders to intervene before the Bureau of Gambling Control
takes action that will cripple city revenues in numerous California cities who have
card clubs within their jurisdictions.

“Over 20+ years ago the state set the terms for card club gaming and an industry
built itself up in 87 California communities around those rules,” said Mayor Cerda.
“Our cities depend on the licensing agreements with those card clubs that generate
millions of dollars in tax revenues to support critical services such as police and fire
protection and social services for children and seniors.

“Now, the Bureau of Gambling Control within the California Department of Justice,
which was found in the audit we discussed today at the hearing to have grossly
mismanaged its responsibilities under the law, is arrogantly pursuing changes to how
card clubs may operate,” Cerda continued. “This agency is out of control and the
legislature should reign it in before it does serious damage to our cities.”
“Make no mistake, their actions could cause severe budget cuts to our cities,
harming public safety, seniors, children, at-risk youth, and all those who depend
upon basic city services.”

Cerda, represented the California Cities for Self-Reliance JPA at the hearing, which
was organized to promote and protect the common economic concerns of its
member cities and to engage on public policy issues which affect these concerns.
The JPA represents the interests of the over 500,000 residents, local businesses,
and their employees. Card clubs are major employers in communities throughout

Mayor Cerda testified that 1 in 5 cities in California plays host to a card club; relying
on those card clubs not only for general fund revenue but relying on them to play an
integral part in those cities’ economic development. The economic vitality of cities
that host card clubs are inextricably connected to the economic vitality of those card