Colma, the graveyard town south of San Francisco where the dead outnumber
the living by 650 to one, is ground zero in a dispute over a gambling bill
that could change wagering limits in card rooms throughout the state.
Backers include a dozen major gambling houses and, to the surprise of some
in the Capitol, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
Proponents say the legislation, which thus far has drawn little public
attention, deftly fixes a glitch in the state’s moratorium on gambling
expansion. But others in the Capitol aren’t so sure. They believe the bill,
S.B. 1198 by Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, is a thinly disguised attempt to
help a major Bay Area card room, the $25 million Lucky Chances Casino in
Colma, and hurt Artichoke Joe’s Casino, a San Bruno-based card room and a
longtime competitor and critic of Lucky Chances.
“It should be noted that this bill revives a fight between Artichoke Joe’s