A divided City Council has lifted restrictions on the types of card games and other entertainment to be allowed at the proposed Silver Saddle Casino.
The council voted 3 to 2 Monday to lift the restrictions, which promoters of the $15-million card club said were needed to make it competitive with other Southeast-area gambling houses.
In addition, the council voted to let Tanlo Inc., the firm developing the card parlor, begin operating a smaller facility than originally planned.
Charles King, Tanlo president, said the organization planned to begin operating a 40-table facility in an effort to spur interest in a larger, 100-table club.
Mayor Lynwood Evans joined council members Faye Dunlap and Gabe Zippi to approve the measure, while Councilmen John Robertson and Joseph Graffio voted against the changes.
Opponents of the club have contended that the card club could become a magnet for corruption and crime.
Card games at the casino have been limited to draw poker and panguingue. The changes give the club the ability, with the approval of the council, to offer all card games legal in the state. While draw poker and panguingue are currently the only card games permitted in California, King said he and other card club owners hope the Legislature legalizes games like seven-card stud.
The changes also give King the ability to offer attractions such as free meals or telecasts of blacked-out sporting events. Poker opponents have raised concerns that the poker club could now offer adult entertainment such as nude shows, but city officials say other city laws guard against that.