Letter to the Editor – Poker Rooms

Are poker players this naïve or are they just bluffing?
 
Throughout the state poker players are being fleeced by poker rooms as well as the government agencies that are supposed to protect and represent them. Poker rooms, like the one in Turlock, are granted local “monopolies” by the California Gambling Control Commission. This discourages them from competing on price and allows them to overcharge the consumer. Can you imagine the state or city saying Turlock could only have on restaurant or bar? If they did, prices and profits for the restaurant that was licensed to operate in Turlock would certainly go up due to a lack of competition.
 
This is a classic example of capture theory of regulation. The state agency that was supposed to regulate poker rooms has become a servant to them, repeatedly extending a moratorium on new poker rooms and in the process costing poker consumers millions upon millions of dollars.
 
The City of Turlock is not without blame as it too was willing to extend this monopoly at the expense of the poker consumer.
 
And yet on Tuesday night over one hundred of the victims of this fleecing joined together at the Turlock City Council meeting not to voice their outrage at this arrangement, but to voice their support of the poker room that profits at their expense.
 
Meanwhile the owner of the poker room wondered why the city wouldn’t want the poker room to expand so that it could get 2.5% of the poker room’s income. Perhaps it is because when consumers spend money in the poker room it leaves them less money to spend elsewhere in the city hurting local business.
 
Hopefully poker players will soon realize they are being ripped off and that poker rooms and the government are battling over the economic profits that are being taken at their expense.
 
Brandon Price
Turlock Resident
 

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