A casino in Tracy, California is moving to another location and facility as the industry is continuing to recover from the business restrictions imposed by the authorities in response to the pandemic.
Moving to a Larger Facility
Stars Casino, a card room in the second-largest city in San Joaquin County, is moving to a location near the West Valley Mall, following the conditional use permit issued by the city in February. The casino is taking over a site that used to be a Famous Dave’s restaurant.
“The relocation to the larger facility means the casino will be able to expand capacity, be open to the public 24 hours a day, and open a full-service restaurant and bar for guests. These amendments are expected to improve and reinvigorate economic activity in the region,” according to a statement.
“Once open in the new location, Stars Casino is anticipating workforce growth of 40-50% in the next two to three years.”
Stars Casino is planning for a soft opening for its new venue on July 1, with a traditional grand opening for the public planned for a later, yet undetermined date. Formerly known as the Comstock Card Room, Stars Casino is offering a limited amount of table and poker games but this is now set to change.
Businesses Are Now Thriving and Expanding
The relocation of Stars Casino to a bigger facility was singled out by Tracy Economic Development Manager Michael Nimon in a statement as an example of the recovering industry in the city.
It is “just one example of many where Tracy businesses are not just recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, but are now thriving and expanding, bringing additional vitality and job opportunities to our community,” Nimon said in the statement.
Much like many other gambling and entertainment businesses, Stars Casino was hit by the pandemic-related restrictions and had been shuttered for five months in 2020 amid the state’s lockdowns. California was among the US states which imposed the harshest restrictions on its people and businesses. Stars Casino also made the headlines when it moved its gaming operations to the outdoor patio area when it re-opened in August 2020.
Card Rooms vs Tribal Casinos
California is home to approximately 70 card rooms which serve as an important contributor to its local economies with an annual economic impact of more than $5.6 billion and directly and indirectly supporting more than 32,000 jobs, shows data from the card rooms’ trade body, the California Gaming Association.
Unlike tribal casinos, card rooms cannot offer slot games and dealers at their tables do not operate in a house capacity, and instead, collect a fee on each hand played on the table, acting as a bank, yet tribal casinos have a history of opposition with card rooms, claiming that their existence threatens tribal gaming exclusivity granted to them via their state compacts.
The latest spat is related to a November ballot sports betting proposition by the tribes that will seek to exclude the card rooms from sports betting.