(a) It is unlawful for any person, as owner, lessee, or employee, whether for hire or not, either solely or in conjunction with others, to do any of the following without having first procured and thereafter maintained in effect all federal, state, and local licenses required by law:
(1) To deal, operate, carry on, conduct, maintain, or expose for play in this state any controlled game.
(2) To receive, directly or indirectly, any compensation or reward or any percentage or share of the revenue, for keeping, running, or carrying on any controlled game.
(3) To manufacture, distribute, or repair any gambling equipment within the boundaries of this state, or to receive, directly or indirectly, any compensation or reward for the manufacture, distribution, or repair of any gambling equipment within the boundaries of this state.
(b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit any controlled game to be conducted, operated, dealt, or carried on in any house or building or other premises that he or she owns or leases, in whole or in part, if that activity is undertaken by a person who is not licensed as required by state law, or by an employee of that person.
(c) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit any gambling equipment to be manufactured, stored, or repaired in any house or building or other premises that the person owns or leases, in whole or in part, if that activity is undertaken by a person who is not licensed as required by state law, or by an employee of that person.
(d) Any person who violates, attempts to violate, or conspires to violate this section shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both imprisonment and fine. A second offense of this section is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year or in the state prison or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both imprisonment and fine.
(e) (1) As used in this section, “controlled game” means any poker or Pai Gow game, and any other game played with cards or tiles, or both, and approved by the Department of Justice, and any game of chance, including any gambling device, played for currency, check, credit, or any other thing of value that is not prohibited and made unlawful by statute or local ordinance.
(2) As used in this section, “controlled game” does not include any of the following:
(A) The game of bingo conducted pursuant to Section 326.3 or 326.5.
(B) Parimutuel racing on horse races regulated by the California Horse Racing Board.
(C) Any lottery game conducted by the California State Lottery.
(D) Games played with cards in private homes or residences, in which no person makes money for operating the game, except as a player.
(f) This subdivision is intended to be dispositive of the law relating to the collection of player fees in gambling establishments. A fee may not be calculated as a fraction or percentage of wagers made or winnings earned. The amount of fees charged for all wagers shall be determined prior to the start of play of any hand or round. However, the gambling establishment may waive collection of the fee or portion of the fee in any hand or round of play after the hand or round has begun pursuant to the published rules of the game and the notice provided to the public. The actual collection of the fee may occur before or after the start of play. Ample notice shall be provided to the patrons of gambling establishments relating to the assessment of fees. Flat fees on each wager may be assessed at different collection rates, but no more than five collection rates may be established per table. However, if the gambling establishment waives its collection fee, this fee does not constitute one of the five collection rates.
(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 748, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2009.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018