Sacramento City Council approves permit for Elks Tower casino

In April a conditional-use permit for a casino was approved by the Sacramento City Council. The license would come from the now defunct Casino Royale which was located in North Sacramento’s Red Lion Inn. The California Bureau of Gambling Control closed Casino Royale in 2014 amid accusations that winnings owed to customers hadn’t been paid.

Steve Ayers seeks to use the license to open Elks Casino in a 14-story J Street building, as well as a restaurant, bar, and lounge. Local casino owners John Park of Parkwest Casino Lotus and Clarke Rosa of Capitol Casino appealed the decision and filed a lawsuit, claiming that the license should be awarded through a lottery.

City staff responded that the conditional-use permit is only about land use, and the issue of the cardroom license is another matter entirely. Their report says, “From a practical standpoint, if there is no card-room license available to complete the second step of the process, the conditional use permit cannot be activated and therefore will expire within three years of approval.”