California Casinos Bet on Outdoor Gambling

California Launches Outdoor Gambling

In delicate times like these, many businesses are coming up with creative ways to keep their operations going. California card clubs seem to have found the perfect solution. Or, have they? Some casinos in the Golden State have set up card rooms under tents to welcome back gamblers

However, for many, this isn’t the safest solution. Most people still prefer to stay indoors and gamble online from the comfort and safety of their homes.

News Highlights

  • California card clubs launch pop up tents to welcome back gamblers.
  • California casinos remain closed, and many operators are seeking creative solutions.
  • Despite all efforts, online gambling sites are still the safest option.

California Pop Up Card Rooms

In March, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered California casinos to shut their indoor operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Afterward, he eased these indoor businesses’ restrictions and then implemented a second round of shutdowns in 19 counties.

One of the 19 counties was San Mateo. On September 4th, under a large open-sided 13,000-square-foot tent, the Bay Area cardroom opened for business. Vince DeFriese, the Casino President at Artichoke Joe’s said:

We call it our open-air casino. We brought our gaming operations out into the tent.

Vince DeFriese

Table Games at Hand

The casino offers classic real money table games like baccarat, three-card poker, pai gow, and blackjack 24 hours a day. The new open-air casino offers 32 card tables where all of these games can be played, except Texas Hold ’em. The tent also provides a dining area that serves food from 7 am – 3 am in addition to the card tables.

As DeFriese pointed out:

We’re still trying to figure out a way to properly social distance. It’s a challenge with that game.

Vince DeFriese

Relief for Casino Employees

Artichoke Joe’s is not the only card club that moved its casino outdoors. In San Joaquin County, the Stars Casino became the first cardroom in California to begin outdoor operations. Both Stars and Artichoke Joe’s stated that they were “recalling almost all of the employees” back at their casinos.

A statement from Stars read:

The outdoor gaming operations will allow the local cardroom to restore the jobs of its employees, most of whom have not been working the past several months, as the cardroom remained closed.

Stars Casino

Coronavirus Impact on California Casinos

The governor told tribal casinos to close their doors in the middle of the pandemic. However, he has no power over them since they operate on sovereign land. All but one tribal casino have opened their doors for customers.

In May, many casinos reopened, and health officials in San Diego County looked into whether or not a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases came from a tribal casino. In late spring, almost all California casinos reopened with no repercussions. A few reported cases were linked to possible outbreaks from tribal casinos, with no conclusive evidence.

Online Gambling Remains the Safest Option

Real Money Online Casinos on Desktop and Mobile

Outdoor cardrooms may be the solution for card players avoiding COVID-19 risks, but there’s another problem. California casino players are currently exposed to bad air quality.

Caused by prolonged droughts, wildfires pose an additional threat to players’ health. According to the AirNow website, air conditions in San Joaquin Country are “moderate” and “unhealthy” in San Mateo County.

Despite these counties’ efforts, the best option for casino players who want to stay safe is to consider real money gambling online. Therefore, staying home and enjoying online gambling would be the best solution. Your health is, after all, more important than anything, so why risk it?

About the Author
Shelly Schiff

Shelly Schiff - Collaborator

Especially enjoys writing about casino and bingo, but she also has experience creating content about crypto and partnerships.