FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – SPECIFICALLY RELATED TO TEMPORARY CHANGES IMPLEMENTED DUE TO THE COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY

    (The Commission will continue to add to this list of FAQs as needed)


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES



Last updated on January 13, 2021


Table of Contents


CARDROOM AND THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS OF PROPOSITION PLAYER SERVICES OPERATIONS


Are cardrooms allowed to reopen?


What changes to operations is a cardroom or TPPPS required to make prior to resuming operations?

    All cardroom and TPPPS operations are required to follow the Guidelines issued. In addition, cardrooms and TPPPS must comply with all existing statutes and regulations, which includes the Commission's Emergency Sanitation Plans emergency regulations, which are in effect as of August 21, 2020. Cardrooms must also ensure they have received all required State and local approvals and obtained all necessary permits prior to operating. Further requirements for a specific cardroom may be outlined on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.. To determine what additional restriction(s) may apply, please go to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy webpage, select "Cardroom" within the "Activity" drop down menu and the specify the appropriate county. The search result should identify the specific restrictions for the county and the cardroom(s) within that county.


Are cardrooms and TPPPS required to follow the guidelines issued?


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OUTDOOR GAMBLING

Can a cardroom conduct gambling outdoors?

    Cardrooms within counties allowed to resume cardrooms operation as specified on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy webpage, who meet all requirements including the mandatory guidelines, and obtain all necessary State and local approvals can conduct outdoor gambling.


What requirements does a cardroom need to meet to operate outdoors?

    As outlined in the Commission’s September 9, 2020 correspondence regarding Outdoor Gambling, Outdoor Operations of Cardrooms guidelines (Outdoor Guidelines) have been released.  Cardrooms who are allowed to resume operations and are choosing to operate outdoor gambling must follow the Outdoor Guidelines.  In addition, cardrooms must comply with all existing statutory and/or regulatory requirements and ensure all local jurisdiction approvals are obtained.

    UPDATED: Please note, on November 25, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a notice titled The Use of Temporary Structure for Outdoor Business Operations. Within this notice, the CDPH updated it definition of a permissible outdoor operation to include operations that are conducted under a tent, canopy, or other sun shelter, as long as no more than 50% of the structure's perimeter has impermeable walls, allowing sufficient, unrestricted outdoor air movement resulting in cross-ventilation. Such walls must be non-adjacent or non-continuous. Of note, doors, windows and other portals do not make a wall "non-continuous." Adjacent walls are walls that touch each other and form a corner. This supersedes the definition in the July 13, 2020 Public Health Order and the definition included in the Outdoor Operations of Cardrooms Guidance document dated September 9, 2020.

What is requested to be submitted to the Bureau prior to commencing outdoor gambling operations? 

    It is requested that the following be provided to the Bureau, via email to gamblingcontrol@doj.ca.gov, prior to conducting outdoor gambling:

    • An updated security and surveillance plan incorporating any changes made due to conducting outdoor operations;
    • An updated emergency fire safety and evacuation plan;
    • A detailed map outlining where outdoor gambling activities will occur and the designated outdoor perimeter;
    • Photos of the outdoor gaming operation; and,
    • Description of any changes made to the operation of the cage(s) and/or count room.

Is Bureau approval required prior to conducting outdoor gambling operations?

    No.  For clarification, the Bureau will not be providing any approval to conduct outdoor gambling; however, the Bureau will conduct inspections to ensure that outdoor gambling is conducted safely, securely, and in compliance with existing statues, regulations, and all applicable requirements.


How do I submit the requested documentation to the Bureau?


My cardroom was conducting outdoor gambling prior to release of the Outdoor Guidelines on September 9, 2020.  Do I need to close operations until my cardrooms meets all the requirements outlined within the Outdoor Guidelines?

    The Bureau and Commission are aware of a limited number of cardrooms that were conducting outdoor gambling prior to the release of the Outdoor Guidelines.  If a cardroom has been conducting outdoor gambling prior to today, assuming all local requirements are met, those cardrooms can continue to conduct outdoor gambling but must come into compliance with all outdoor gambling requirements as soon as possible and no later than Monday, September 28, 2020.


It is not feasible to relocate my cage outdoors.  Can patrons still utilize the existing cage indoors?

    The Outdoor Guidelines suggest moving indoor operations, amenities, and gaming activities outdoors to the greatest extent feasible in order to minimize the number of and amount of time guests spend inside facilities.  The Outdoor Guidelines also recognizes that there may be security concerns when operating the cage outdoors.  Due to the specific regulatory cage requirements, and the security the cage requires, the Commission and Bureau strongly encourage cardrooms to continue using their existing indoor cage.  Cardrooms must minimize the number of and amount of time guests spend inside the cardroom and must adhere to all physical distancing requirements.

     

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COVID-19 RELATED COMMISSION EMERGENCY REGULATIONS

What is the status of the Commission's Emergency Regulations regarding Emergency Sanitation Plans?

    The Commission's Emergency Sanitation Plans emergency regulations became effective on August 21, 2020. The Emergency Sanitation Plans emergency regulation text can be found on the Commission's Recently Adopted, Amended, and Repealed Regulations webpage.


What does the Emergency Sanitation Plan emergency regulations require?


My cardroom and/or TPPPS is currently operating. With the Emergency Sanitation Plan emergency regulations now in effect, do I have to shut down until the requirements outlined in the regulations are met?

    All active cardrooms and TPPPS, whether currently operating or not, were provided 30 calendar days from the effective date of the regulation to come into compliance.


My cardroom and/or TPPPS has revised its Emergency Sanitation Plan. Do we need to submit the revised plan?

    Yes. If an emergency sanitation plan is revised, one copy of the revised emergency sanitation plan must be submitted to the Bureau within seven calendar days after the revision. You can submit your revised plan to the Bureau via email at gamblingcontrol@doj.ca.gov.


Are there other COVID-19 Commission related emergency regulations I should be aware of?

    Yes. The Commission has also adopted an emergency regulation for Emergency-Based Remote Counts. This emergency regulation was approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and became effective on September 17, 2020.

    For the full Emergency-Based Remote Counts emergency regulation text, please go to the Commission's Recently Adopted, Amended, and Repealed Regulations webpage.

    To keep up-to-date on all the Commission's rulemaking actions, please go HERE to subscribe to the Commission's Rulemaking Subscription list.


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COMMISSION OPERATIONS


Is the Commission currently operating during the State of Emergency?

    Yes. Our office is currently open to the public; however, majority of the Commission staff are working remotely until further notice. The Commission is continuing all operations. You may contact the Commission via phone at 916-263-0700 or via email at comments@cgcc.ca.gov.


Is the Commission continuing to process applications once it receives a completed background investigation report from the Bureau of Gambling Control?

    Yes. At this time, the Commission is continuing to hold its regular bi-monthly licensing public meetings and is continuing to process as many applications as possible. All applications are required to be submitted timely and per existing Executive Order, statutory and/or regulatory requirements. If you have any questions regarding your application due date, please see the RELIEF PROVIDED TO COMMISSION STAKEHOLDERS DURING THE COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY section below and/or contact the Bureau of Gambling Control at gamblingcontrol@doj.ca.gov immediately.


If I have a question for the Commission regarding any of the temporary changes due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency that are impacting stakeholders, who can I contact?

    If you have any questions regarding the temporary changes in effect, please do not hesitate to contact the Commission at comments@cgcc.ca.gov or call the Commission's main line at (916) 263-0700.


If I have a question specific to my application, who do I contact?

    Please contact the Bureau of Gambling Control (Bureau) directly. If you have been working with a specific Bureau analyst, please contact that analyst directly. If you have not been working with a Bureau analyst directly, please contact the bureau at gamblingcontrol@doj.ca.gov.


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PUBLIC MEETINGS

Is the Commission continuing to hold public meetings during the current COVID-19 State of Emergency?

    Yes. At this time, the Commission is continuing to hold public meetings. However, to ensure the continued safety of our employees, stakeholders, and general public, the Commission's hearing room is closed to the public until further notice. For the time being, all Commission public meetings will be held via teleconference and video conference. The Zoom meeting details can be found HERE.

    All meeting agendas continue to be posted on the Commission's website at least 10 days prior to the date of the meeting. You can find all 2020 meeting agendas listed HERE.

    The Commission will continue to post the meeting's recorded audio on its website within 24-hours after the meeting has concluded.


If I am not permitted to attend a public meeting in person, how am I able to participate in the Commission's public meetings during the current COVID-19 State of Emergency?

    Although the Commission is not holding in-person public meetings at this time, the public is still able to participate in all of the Commission's public meetings. The Commission's correspondence dated March 19, 2020 provides information on how you can participate in our public meetings. However, for your convenience, the following information is provided:

    • The Commission is using Zoom! As such, you are able to participate via telephone or video teleconferencing. Your choice.

    • The Commission's Zoom info for all public meetings is:

    • Join Zoom Meeting
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      Meeting ID: 285 757 8614

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    • If you wish to make a public comment on any of the listed agenda items, you are encouraged to participate in the meeting view the Zoom meeting.

    • If you do not wish to participate in the public meeting, but would like to send in a public comment for items NOT listed on an agenda, you can email your public comment to comments@cgcc.ca.gov. Please state the meeting date you would like your public comment read into the record.

    • To eliminate confusion, the Commission's LIVE STREAM feature is disabled until in-person meetings resume.


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RELIEF PROVIDED TO COMMISSION STAKEHOLDERS DURING THE COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY

What relief has been provided to the cardroom and Third-Party Provider of Proposition Player Services (TPPPS) stakeholders during the COVID-19 State of Emergency?

    On October 28, 20202, Governor Newsom released Executive Order N-83-20. Executive Order N-83-20 supersedes the previous three Executive Orders (N-71-20, N-66-20, and N-40-20) that provided relief to the industry.

    You can find additional information in the Commission's correspondence dated October 28, 2020 regarding the additional relief provided via Executive Order N-83-20. In brief summary of Executive Order N-83-20 and the Commission's October 28, 2020 correspondence, for any cardroom, TPPPS, or tribal vendor that suspended operations due to the proclaimed State of Emergency, the due date of any application, background, and/or annual fees currently due or will become due is extended to June 30, 2021, the due date for the 2019 Annual Financial Reports are due no later than December 31, 2020, and all required applications and documentation previously extended are due per existing requirements or 30 days from the Executive Order N-83-20 was issued, October 28, 2020, whichever is later.

    In addition, the Commission released a notice to the cardroom industry members on December 10, 2020 advising of its intent to initiate Emergency Regulations to provide temporary relief related to 2020 financial reporting requirements. The intended Emergency Regulations will specifically provide relief to Group I and Group II licensees whose fiscal year ends on December 31st. Please see the Commission's Financial Reporting Requirement December 10, 2020 Notice for more information.


Will fees be reduced or forgiven due to the non-operation of cardrooms and TPPPS resulting from the State of Emergency?

    Although relief has been provided that extends the due date of licensing fees, relief has not been provided that allows for the reduction or forgiveness of fees due.


My annual fee and/or annual fee installment payment is currently due. Can I get an extension?

    Per Executive Order N-83-20, the due date for annual fees are due by June 30, 2021. This includes any 2019 and 2020 Annual Fee balances owed. No installment requests to make payments beyond June 30, 2021 for the 2019 or 2020 Annual Fees will be approved.

    For the 2021 Cardroom Annual Fee, for those Cardrooms whose fiscal year ends in December, their 2021 Annual Fee would normally be due by April 30, 2021. Cardrooms will still be required to request the Bureau of Gambling Control's (Bureau) approval for installment payments for the 2021 Annual Fee. Absent any additional Executive Order relief, for those Cardrooms who have requested and been approved to make installment payments, the first installment of the 2021 Annual Fee will be due no later than June 30, 2021, second installment payment due by August 31, 2021, and the third installment payment due by December 31, 2021.

    If you have any questions regarding your annual fee payments, please contact the Bureau at gamblingcontrol@doj.ca.gov.

    After July 1, 2021, the Gambling Control Commission (Commission) will not act on a renewal license application if there are outstanding balances. (Business and Professions Code section 19874(b)).


I am currently a holder of a license, work permit, registration, or finding of suitability that is set to expire. Can I get an extension?

    Although Executive Order N-83-20 is providing an extension to pay the application and background fees associated with required application, the Executive Order effectively ended provided extensions to those required to submit an application or the associated documentation. The Bureau and Commission will still recognize extensions to expiration dates as provided under Executive Order N-71-20, which extended those licensees, work permits, and findings of suitability with expiration dates between March 17, 2020 and August 29, 2020 (the date Executive Order N-71-20 expired), for 180 days; however, the required application and documentation must be submitted per the revised timeframe outlined in Executive Order N-83-20. For example, if a license was set to expire on August 29, 2020, Executive Order N-71-20 extended the expiration date of that license by 180 days, which would be February 25, 2021. Using the example given, the extension of the expiration date will still be recognized and the current license is extended until February 25, 2021; however, as stated in Executive Order N-83-20, the renewal application is due no later than 30 days, which is no later than November 27, 2020, from the date Executive Order N-83-20 was issued.

    If you have additional questions regarding your application due date, please contact the Bureau at gamblingcontrol@doj.ca.gov immediately.


My company is currently required to submit a financial report. Can I can get an extension?

    Executive Order N-83-20 extended the due date for the 2019 Annual Financial Reports to December 31, 2020.

    2020 Annual Financial Reports due dates remain as specified in existing regulations. However, the Commission released a notice to the cardroom industry members on December 10, 2020 advising of its intent to initiate Emergency Regulations to provide temporary relief related to 2020 financial reporting requirements. The intended Emergency Regulations will specifically provide relief to Group I and Group II licensees whose fiscal year ends on December 31st. Please see the Commission's Financial Reporting Requirement December 10, 2020 Notice for more information.


I have conditions on my current license, work permit, or finding of suitability that require action during the State of Emergency. Can I have an extension?

    Executive Order N-83-20 did NOT provide any further extension related to active conditions. The Bureau and Commission will recognize any extensions provided under the previously issued Executive Order N-71-20; however, individuals with active conditions should resume compliance with any active condition immediately.


Do I have relief from my local jurisdiction requirements?

    The relief provided by the State does not extend to the local jurisdictions. Please contact your local jurisdiction licensing agency directly.


Could additional relief be provided?

    It is possible that additional relief or an extension of the current timeframes could be provided depending on the length of the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The Commission will continue to monitor and assess the current COVID-19 State of Emergency, including the resulting impact to the industry, and advise the industry immediately if any additional relief is provided. Any updates will be provided on the Commission's website, in addition to direct correspondence to the industry stakeholders.

    If you wish to be noticed via email of any new correspondence released by the Commission, please SUBSCRIBE HERE.


Will resuming cardroom or TPPPS operations change the date the annual fees are due or the other relief provided by the various Executive Orders released?

    No.


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LOAN APPROVALS

I am an owner of a cardroom who will need to seek a loan for the cardroom due to the impact of the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Do I require preapproval or review from the Bureau of Gambling Control or Commission for such a loan?

    Any gambling establishment seeking to receive loans from any federally or state-chartered lending institution or regulated bank or savings association does NOT require prior review or approval from the Bureau of Gambling Control or the Commission provided ownership interests in a Gambling Enterprise are not assigned or pledged. As long as the loan does not assign or pledge an interest in the Gambling Enterprise, the length of the loan does not matter.


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TRIBAL FINANCIAL SOURCE EXEMPTIONS

I am a tribal gaming agency representative and my tribal gaming operation is planning on receiving financing from a financial source, such as a Small Business Administration Payroll Protection Program loan, that my agency can exempt from our Compact's licensing requirements and finding of suitability process. Do I need to contact the Commission regarding that financing and exemption?

    If your Compact requires notification be provided to the State Gaming Agency, either once the exemption has been made or 30 days before the exemption is made, you should continue to provide notice to the Gambling Control Commission. If you need additional assistance regarding the exemption including the Commission's documentation of receipt or confirmation of the exemption for lender's purposes, you can also contact the Commission for assistance. Please email your notification and/or request to Executive Director Stacey Luna Baxter at Slunabaxter@cgcc.ca.gov.


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INITIAL LICENSE, WORK PERMIT, REGISTRATION, OR FINDING OF SUITABILITY APPLICATIONS

I do not currently hold a license, work permit, registration, or finding of suitability, but plan to work as soon as I am able. What do I need to do?

    Submit the required application as required by existing statutes and/or regulations to the Bureau of Gambling Control. The relief provided does not allow anyone to actively work in controlled gambling without holding the required license, work permit, registration, finding of suitability, or other approval. If an applicant intends to actively work in a position that requires a license, work permit, registration, finding of suitability, or other approval, either during the timeframe of the COVID-19 State of Emergency or thereafter, all initial applications MUST be filed and deemed complete by the Bureau, per existing requirements and the approval issued. However, payment of any related fees may be delayed until June 30, 2021, per Executive Order N-83-20.


I have already submitted my required fee and application for my initial license, work permit, registration, or finding of suitability. Will my application still be processed?

    Yes, absolutely! The Bureau and the Commission are still processing completed applications.


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