California Gaming Commission: Impact on California Legal Betting

The California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) is the official gambling commission of the state of California. The CGCC cultivates relationships with all stakeholders, develops regulations, makes fair decisions, and ensures honesty and integrity in the controlled gambling industry. Their vision is “ensuring integrity and public trust in the controlled gambling industry”.

About the CGCC

The commission was proposed in the mid-1990s in order to create a state agency to license cardrooms and casinos within California.
The Commission acts as the regulatory body over the following:
1. Gambling establishments (cardrooms), and over all persons or transactions regarding ownership interest of gambling enterprises
2. Third Party Providers of Proposition Players Services, and over all persons or transactions regarding ownership interest
3. Tribal casinos, pursuant to the Commission’s authority under the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts.
The Commission is responsible for setting policy, establishing regulations, making determinations of suitability for gaming employees and other individuals and entities, issuing licenses, acting as the administrator of gaming revenues deposited into the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund (SDF) and the trustee over the revenues deposited into the Indian Gaming Revenue Sharing Trust Fund (RSTF), and administering the provisions of the Gambling Control Act and the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts (Compacts).
The Commission, under the Gambling Control Act, and pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order D-29-01 has jurisdiction over operation, concentration, and supervision of gambling establishments and over all persons related to the operations of gambling establishments in the State of California.

Cardrooms and Third Party Providers of Proposition Players Services

The Commission’s primary responsibilities related to cardrooms and third party providers include:
– Making determinations of suitability for the issuance of licenses/registrations to owners, supervisors, players, related parties, and key employees
– Issuing work permits to cardroom employees in specific jurisdictions
– Taking reasonable actions to ensure that no ineligible, unqualified, disqualified, or unsuitable persons are associated with controlled gaming activities
– Assessing and acting upon certain restricted transactions including ownership changes and lending arrangements
– Taking reasonable actions to ensure that gambling activities take place only in suitable locations
– Granting temporary/interim licenses, permits or approvals on appropriate terms and conditions
– Developing and implementing regulations pursuant to the Gambling Control Act
– Adjudicating recommendations concerning license denials or revocations, or disciplinary actions.

Tribal Gaming

The Commission, pursuant to the Compacts, the Gambling Control Act, the Governor’s Executive Order D-31-01 and Governor’s Executive Order D-66-03, has various fiduciary, regulatory and administrative responsibilities related to Tribal gaming and the distribution of revenues to eligible Indian Tribes.
The Commission’s primary responsibilities related to Tribal gaming and Non-Compact Tribes include, but are not limited to:
– Making suitability determinations for Tribal key employees, gaming resource suppliers (vendors), and financial sources
– Serving as the administrator of the Special Distribution Fund
– Serving as the trustee for the RSTF, including collecting and accounting for payments from Tribes, preparing reports, and distributing funds to eligible Non-Compact, Non-Gaming and Limited Gaming Tribes based on the approved distribution methodology
– Ensuring that the allocation of gaming devices among the Compact Tribes does not exceed the allowable number of gaming devices as provided in the Compacts and that the license draws comply with the Compacts
– Developing regulations related to the Compacts with the Tribal-State Association
More info about the California Gambling Control Commission can be found on their website.

CGCC Staff


– Jim Evans: Public at Large Member
– Gareth Lacy: Governmental Experience Member
– Paula D. LaBrie: Attorney Member
– Trang To: Law Enforcement Member

Executive Staff

– Stacey Luna Baxter – Executive Director
– Todd Vlaanderen: Chief Counsel, Legal Division
– Adrianna Alcala-Beshara: Deputy Director, Licensing Division
– Alana Carter: Deputy Director, Administration Division
– Joshua Speaks: Deputy Director, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Division
– Fred Castano: Public Relations Officer
– Niecesha Williams: Analyst, Executive Office

The Gaming Policy Advisory Committee (GPAC)

Section 19817 of the Gambling Control Act states:
“The commission shall establish and appoint a Gaming Policy Advisory Committee of 10 members. The committee shall be composed of representatives of controlled gambling licensees and members of the general public in equal numbers. The executive director shall, from time to time, convene the committee for the purpose of discussing matters of controlled gambling regulatory policy and any other relevant gambling-related issue. The recommendations concerning gambling policy made by the committee shall be presented to the commission, but shall be deemed advisory and not binding on the commission in the performance of its duties or functions. The committee may not advise the commission on Indian gaming.”
GPAC Mission Statement:
“To provide advisory recommendations to the California Gambling Control Commission concerning matters of controlled gaming regulatory policy and other relevant gambling-related issues, with special attention to guaranteeing the integrity of gambling operations and to deal effectively with problem gambling.”
GPAC committee members can be found here.