San Bruno casino’s license extended

State officials on Thursday granted a four-month license extension for Artichoke Joe’s while they continue a routine examination into the casino’s operations.

The California Gambling Control Commission gave the longtime local card room a state gambling license extension through Nov. 30 because the Division of Gambling Control needed more time to assemble a required, confidential report on their findings, commission spokeswoman Anna Carr said.

Commissioners, who had a recent backlog of items to examine, will review the report and then decide whether to renew the license for another year, Carr said.

Commission staff looks up, among other things, arrests or convictions of the key employees and owners; and any bankruptcy filings the company might have made since their last review, Artichoke Joe’s attorney Alan Titus said.

Though outright denials of license renewals for card rooms and casinos are rare, the commission may elect to add provisions to the license come this fall, Carr said.

Titus expects the license renewal to go off without a hitch. Earning a license renewal is much easier than earning the license in the first place, he said.

Artichoke Joe’s is one of the city’s oldest businesses at nearly 90 years old, and was one of the area’s original sports bars that mainly took bets on horse races. It’s main competition is Lucky Chances, a card room in Colma currently struggling with state gambling officials over an increase in betting limits that the state claims violated a moratorium. Artichoke Joe’s has no-limit betting.

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