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San Jose's Measure H Would Increase Cardroom Tax, Expand Gambling Tables

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- San Jose voters are being asked to approve a measure that would increase taxes on cardrooms while expanding the number of gambling tables.

Measure H would increase revenues for Bay 101 Casino and Casino Matrix to 16.5 percent, up from 15 percent.

"It's going to be able to add millions of dollars to our city budget," said
Councilmember Raul Peralez, who has the city's only two card clubs in his district.

He supports Measure H, which would potentially boost city coffers by
$15 million a year.

"Those are the monies that the city can utilize to pay all of our city services. Your police services, your fire services, road maintenance, parking enforcement," Peralez said.

The measure would be the first expansion of card tables in decades. It would also tax revenues from 3rd party proposition players which help the cardrooms operate.

But San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo -- who has long battled the expansion of gambling-- is against Measure H because of potential social impacts.

"The child neglect, the domestic violence that results. Social science has found direct links to gambler activity and gambling addiction," Liccardo said.

The mayor also said the city could have increased taxes on the casinos without expanding the number of tables.

"Obviously a deal was cut. But the costs in social terms far outweigh whatever revenue we're going to get out of it," the Mayor said.

A Bay 101 spokesman said the casino supports the measure.

"We believe that nobody enjoys seeing taxes go up. That said, we've needed extra tables for a long time," a released statement read.

Peralez said San Jose police have close oversight of the casinos and noted that if San Jose does not expand gaming, gamblers will simply go somewhere else.

"We can have good management and we can capitalize on legal tax revenues. What we're doing here is increase those tax revenues," said Peralez.

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