500 club

Employees of the 500 Clubs are asking local and state elected officials to reopen the card room. Photo by David Castelon

published on August 28, 2017 - 11:20 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Some of the 500 Club’s 240 employees in Clovis are imploring local elected officials to help reopen the card room as it approaches nearly two weeks of a state-mandated closure.

Letters have been sent to state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Assemblymember Jim Patterson, Senator Tom Berryhill and Senator Andy Vidak.

A spokesperson for Patterson’s office said they are setting up a line of communication with the 500 Club’s management.

Investigators from the California Bureau of Gambling Control shut the card room down on Aug. 16, saying that the operation owned by Louis Saran’s, Jr. did not have enough funds to cover its gambling chips in use — a contention General Manager Dusten Perry has denied.

The 500 Club’s restaurant and bar did reopen last week, but the card room — which Perry said brings in $65,000 to $75,000 in daily revenue — remains closed.

Employees wrote the 134 pages of letters in hopes of returning to their jobs soon.

“I really hope this creates some urgency in Sacramento around resolving this issue,” Perry said in a statement.

Patricia Strecker wrote Becerra to say that she has been the HR manager for the 500 Club for five years, and has heard first-hand from other employees unsure of how they are going to make ends meet. Strecker’s position is especially tenuous.

“As my husband and I both work there, the closure will mean complete and total loss of income to support our entire family,’ she wrote.

Jeffrey Au has worked for the 500 Club since 2012. He wrote Becerra to say the closure has left him incomplete.

“The company has got shut down, and all the sudden I feel lost in life, seem like i lost a family,” Au wrote.

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