By Steve Large

RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – Officials in one local city may have an ace up their sleeve – a new way to bring in more money.

Cordova Restaurant and Casino is one of two existing cardrooms in Rancho Cordova that would be hit with this new tax. It’s one way struggling cities are now dealing with revenue problems.

It’s a whole new type of number’s game.

“Money is a very sore subject for most of the cities in California,” Vice Mayor Linda Budge said.

Now some California cities are stacking the deck, realizing cardrooms can bring in new kinds of cash with a so-called sin tax.

“People are going to gamble no matter what, so it might as well be for a good cause,” said resident Henry D’Amato.

It could bring Rancho Cordova $100,000 next year alone.

The city is putting a 2 percent special tax on gaming revenue on November’s ballot, increased to 3 and 4 percent in following years. As part of its proposal, the city would allow cardrooms an extra table. The current limit is 10.

The city of Lodi already has a cardroom tax rate at 9 percent. San Jose’s rate comes close to doubling down on that – it’s set at 15 percent.

Cardrooms are learning to live with the hand their dealt.

“Absolutely, given the state budget and everything that’s coming down to the local governments, or being taken away from local governments, I think you’re going to see this proliferating across the state,” said Cordova Restaurant and Casino spokeswoman Michelle Smira.

Even for a city like Rancho Cordova, which has run in the black since it incorporated nearly a decade ago, it’s the new game in town: slapping a new tax on cards and betting voters will approve it.


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