Richard Shindle is putting all his cards on the table this week in hopes that Antioch leaders let him stay in the game.
Shindle is part of an ownership group in the process of acquiring Kelly's Cardroom and its licenses but needs more time to find a new location.
He will make a presentation Tuesday to the City Council asking for leniency on city codes, giving him six more months to craft a relocation proposal.
If Antioch says no, the card room license will expire on July 23, likely limiting the number of card rooms in the city in the future as well.
"It's really in the hands of the representatives to make their case and the council to give us feedback," City Manager Jim Jakel said.
Kelly's was closed by emergency order by the state's Bureau of Gambling Control on Jan. 23, a move that stemmed from probation violations from longtime owner Al Cianfichi for employees lacking valid work permits and the business failing to provide wage statements and workers' compensation insurance. Continued lack of funds, including not having enough funds to cover the cardroom's chips in play, led to the emergency order.
Cianfichi had agreed to a settlement last year that placed him on probation and directed him to sell his ownership by Jan. 31., which he hoped would go to his children.
Card room licenses automatically expire after six months of inactivity, according to Antioch's municipal code. It likely cannot be reactivated given
Antioch has received a number of emails and phone calls from people interested in acquiring the existing license because of the moratorium, Jakel said.
"The word is out the license is on the market," he said.
Ownership group Blarney LLC is hoping to relocate from the building in the industrial area of O Street while the state's gambling bureau finishes its final investigation into its application. Shindle told the city in a July 3 letter that Kelly's is in "total disrepair and subject to major renovations."
Antioch collects an annual license fee of $260 per table, but unlike some jurisdictions such as Emeryville and Contra Costa County, does not collect a business license tax on monthly gross revenue.
City staff is recommending the council consider increasing fees if it moves ahead with the Blarney LLC proposal.
"We wouldn't want it to be a loser for the city," Jakel said.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.