California card room co-owner stripped of license, hit with $13.7M penalty

TAGs: California, casino m8trix, Eric Swallow, Jasmine Solana

California card room co-owner stripped of license, hit with $13.7M in penaltyEric Swallow is bidding goodbye to Casino M8trix.

This was after the California Gambling Control Commission stripped the businessman of his ownership license, local media outlets reported.

San Jose City Attorney Richard Doyle confirmed Swallow’s departure to the East Bay Times, saying the decision will go into effect on June 27.

“Eric can no longer be a player, no pun intended. It is a requirement in San Jose that you have a lawful state license to operate a card room, so he can no longer be an owner of the M8trix,” Doyle said, according to the report.

Swallow has also been ordered to cough up $13.7 million in penalties, according to his lawyer Allen Ruby.

The punishment was the result of the legal brouhaha brought forth from allegations that Swallow and his business partners, husband and wife team Peter and Jeanine Lunardi, funneled millions of dollars from Casino M8trix to limited liability corporations. Those charges have yet to be proven, but state gaming regulators found that Swallow “made inaccurate statements and failed to provide documentation to the Bureau of Gambling Control,” resulting in the loss of his ownership license.

Swallow, however, has been trying to wash his hands off the glitzy Casino M8trix.

The businessman was already in talks to sell his shares of the card room to Parkwest Casinos owner John Park. According to Mercury News, Swallow already signed a purchase agreement with Park in April 2015, but the Lunardis stopped him from selling because they wanted first dibs at buying his shares.

Doyle said Swallow needs to find a buyer before his June 27 deadline or he risks losing the card room he built from the ground up without getting anything in return. In case Swallow manages to sell his shares, the new owner will still have to be vetted by both the state and the city.

“Come June 27, he better have a buyer or he can no longer operate. His partner can, but that’s going to have to be worked out among them,” the city attorney said.


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