Clovis City Council Opposes Prop 26

Clovis City Council (Photo by J.T. Gomez/Clovis Roundup)

In efforts to side with the 500 Club Casino, the Clovis City Council openly opposed a proposition coming this November ballot.

Proposition 26, a proposition that looks to “legalize sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks in California,” is opposed by the 500 Club Casino in Clovis due to the belief that the proposition will open up the “possibility for lawsuits” against gambling entities like the 500 Club and their open card games.

According to Councilmember Drew Bessinger, Proposition 26 has been discussed at length beforehand.

“This came before the League Cities Public Safety Committee about two months ago and we discussed both Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 and we, I think it was 30-1, voted to oppose supporting Proposition 26, specifically because it created a bureaucracy in the Department of Justice…to do enforcement and oversight, and it created a situation where frivolous lawsuits or frivolous complaints could be lodged against card rooms.”

Bessinger later called it “unfair” that the proposition could possibly create this situation for card rooms such as the 500 Club Casino.

Proposition 27 was not discussed at the Council meeting, whereas Proposition 26 may affect the card rooms at the 500 Club Casino in Clovis, Proposition 27 is meant to legalize mobile sports betting in the State of California. Proposition 27 also aims to dedicate revenue to the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account and the Tribal Economic Development Account according to Ballotpedia.com.

A representative for the 500 Club recognized as well that the issue was not related to sports betting, but rather a “private Attorney General’s Act, Provision within the initiative that seeks to put card rooms out of business in order to remove competition from Tribal Casinos.” The representative then went on to state that this was more of a “Southern California issue with some of the larger tribes” who are “acting in their best interest.”

“Our regional tribes who operate casinos like Table Mountain, Chuckchansi, and a number of others are not engaged in this particular issue. You can go to the supporters’ website, [and] you’re not gonna find their names.”

The support in opposition of the Proposition came with a 4-0 vote from the council with one abstention from Councilman Bob Whalen. Whalen of course abstained from the vote due to his impending judgeship, and the fact that he doesn’t want to become politically involved. “I don’t refrain from all political activity. The TOT [Transient Occupancy Tax] for example was one that I wanted to make sure that I did take a position on. But some of these other one’s that are not directly related to the City of Clovis, I’m gonna just be an abstention on.”
JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.