A number of California card rooms and tribal casinos have lobbied to have the Hollywood Park Casino shut down. The investors who own the Inglewood card room also have stock in casinos in Las Vegas. The state’s legislation prohibits owners of California casinos from owning equity in gaming establishments in other states. The state’s regulators threatened to shut the card room down earlier this year, but the state lawmakers may grant it an exception.

Several lawmakers proposed a new bill that would exempt the casino from the law until 2016. The bill was passed by the Senate Governmental Operations Committee by a vote of 6-0 on Wednesday. It was immediately sent to the Senate floor for a final vote.

Senator Roderick Wright, said that this bill is necessary to protect the interests of Inglewood. He pointed out that the casino provides hundreds of jobs to the city and 20% of the city’s revenue comes from taxes on the casino. Shutting down the casino would threaten the pensions of both casino and city employees.

Wright said that the three year timeframe would give the casino time to find new investors to transfer ownership. He is confident that new investors would be willing to purchase a share in the casino before that deadline elapses.

Some critics opposed the new measure. Senator Ricardo Lara said that this new bill would give the Hollywood Park Casino an advantage over other card rooms and tribal casinos. Other casino owners also oppose the new bill. Some lawmakers said that Wright is biased because he is an Inglewood citizen and wants to protect the interests of his constituents.

Nevertheless, other lawmakers believe that the bill is necessary. They feel an obligation to protect the revenues of Inglewood and its pensioners.

Staff - Various members of the staff at contributed to this report.