Poker Room Coming To Calexico?

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council gave their green light last week to an application for the operation of the Cardroom in Calexico.

Calexico Police Chief Jim Neujahr said in a report that the Calexico Police Department received a city application for a “Cardroom” license from the sole owner, Juan Cruz, last month to start operating a business called “Double Deuces Poker Room” to be located on Third Street in Calexico.  As mandated by the Calexico Municipal Code, an investigation was conducted into the background and proposed operation of the card room, chief said.

“Mr. Cruz has worked in the gaming industry for more than 15 years and holds the appropriate gaming credentials from the State of California. Mr. Cruz is currently employed as a card game dealer at the Quechan Casino in Winterheaven.”Chief Neujahr said in this report.

The Calexico Police Department recommended that the application be approved since there was nothing on the background investigation that excluded him to get a “card room permit” from the City of Calexico and since the location is consistent with zoning requirements.

The owner of the poker site said in a letter that he would like to take the advantage of the popularity of Poker in the United States by providing the residents of Calexico, “regulated, professional, and safe poker environment.” Cruz said that The City of Calexico is currently without any legal poker venues and residents are forced to travel to Yuma or San Diego to satisfy their poker entertainment needs. “That results in their hard earned dollars leaving the area and being spent and taxed elsewhere.” Cruz said.

In other news, the Council authorized a contract amendment with the Law Offices of John McCaull to complete a number of tasks, included but not limited to, legal research and writing for the development and completion of the New River Improvement Project strategic plan pursuant the Assembly Bill 1079 made by Assemblyman Manuel Perez. The plan is nearing completion, and should be ready for consideration and adoption by the California Mexico Border Relations Council before the end of the year. Due to additional workload and legal services required to complete the strategic plan, City staff and consultant have requested and received support from the agencies overseeing administration funds for the New River Improvement Project to increase the overall contract amount not to exceed $45,000. There will be no impact to the general fund since this money is covered under approval grant agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board.