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Colma May Restore Unlimited Wagering

10 January 2006

COLMA, California – As reported by the San Francisco Examiner: "As a first step in its plan to restore unlimited wagering at the city's lone casino, the City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to hold a citywide election on the issue April 11.

"A 'yes' vote for no-limit gambling by Colma's roughly 400 registered voters wouldn't immediately reverse the $200 wagering limit at Colma's Lucky Chances Casino, but it would give the cardroom recourse to sue state regulators over the limit, according to its attorney, Michael Franchetti.

"Last month, under orders from the state Division of Gambling Control, Colma rescinded its 1998 ordinance allowing no-limit betting on card games. The state ruled that the ordinance, which replaced a 1993 law establishing the $200 limit, was invalid because it violated a state moratorium restricting the expansion of gambling through 2010.

"Colma, which takes in about 12 percent of the casino's earnings, estimates the $200 limit will cost it roughly $1.8 million a year in taxes. Fearing lost revenue, city and casino officials have sought to challenge the state ruling through means including the election is the first step, City Manager Diane McGrath said…"

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