Our View: Casino suitor should speak to the public
It looks like Grass Valley could soon have a new downtown business owner.
We’d like to tell you more about this business, but it has a policy of not talking to the media, according to Mike Owen, who is the president of the Cal-Pac Group.
Cal-Pac wants to buy the Gold Rush Casino and Gaming Parlor in downtown Grass Valley. The company is expected to learn today if the California Gambling Control Commission will allow it to purchase the business from Sue Barrows.
The Gold Rush Casino has a few of its own problems at the moment as it is under investigation for possibly violating several sections of the state’s Gambling Control Act.
So when Owen told a reporter on Tuesday that “our policy is to not talk to the media,” he raised questions about what type of neighbor and community member his business plans to be and under what conditions the sale is being made.
Since this is not an ordinary business, it is fair to raise these questions. There’s a reason, after all, why cardrooms are among the most heavily regulated businesses in the state.
Cal-Pac does own at least one gambling operation, The 101 Casino in Petaluma. According to the company’s Web site, the 8,500-square foot casino has 12 tables and is open 24 hours a day. It also has a restaurant. Its Web site offers various online betting opportunities.
The company previously tried to acquire the Garden City Casino in San Jose, but according to the San Jose Mercury News, that deal fell through when a trustee in charge of the sale was not satisfied that the company had the financial resources to buy the club.
It is difficult to draw conclusions about this operation based on this information, but it’s all we have to evaluate at this point.
It is legal to own and operate a cardroom in California. The owners, however, should understand that they have a duty as a potential new member of our community to disclose their plans for the club, their hours of operation, and if they are committed to being good neighbors.
It’s really not that much information to share with the community.
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