The Normandie Casino located in Gardena, California will be shutting its doors for good; or at least until they can find someone to purchase the property from them. This didn’t come as a big surprise to most, as they have been under scrutiny since 2013 when they were investigated for violating anti-money laundering laws. The casino has been operating for over 75 years, and is the oldest card clubs in California; changing its name from the Western Club to the Normandie in 1947.
Miller Family & Felony Charges
When the California casino changed its name in 1947, it was thanks to Russ Miller, who purchased the property from the previous owners, and has been in the Miller family ever since. It was in April that the California Gambling Control Commission decided to revoke their license, as the four Miller sons, Lee, Larry, Greg, and Steve, were convicted of federal felony money laundering charges.
The money laundering charges are said to have originated back in 2013 when the Normandie Casino failed to properly record and report large-scale cash transactions. Back in January of this year, they plead guilty to the charges and promised to pay back the $1.3 million that slipped through the holes. This was done, as Mark Werksman, the attorney representing the casino stated,
“The Normandie has cooperated with the government to resolve this case in a positive way that allows the club to move forward from this investigation and to continue doing business as it has for the past 70 years, as the best gambling establishment in Southern California.”
Despite this, the United States government doesn’t take these charges lightly, as it could open up a can of worms that will be hard to contain.
Selling the Cali Casino
The owners of the popular Cali casino are actually trying to sell the property, hoping that the employees and services remain. The federal judge has given them four months in order to do just that, as a way to let them get their affairs in order. One possible buyer would be Larry Flynt, the current owner of Hustler Casino, also in California.
When the Hustler Casino was built, it took patrons away from the Normandie and seemed to speed up their demise. However, now that these convictions have come to light, Flynt may get a good deal on the property, as it is rumored he has plans of converting it into a Las Vegas-style casino. It would be a shame to lose another casino card club.