Lucky Lady Casino owner to appeal city’s decision to deny permit
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The owner of the last operating card room in San Diego is scheduled Wednesday to appeal the denial of a police permit renewal to the City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee.
According to city documents, the San Diego Police Department denied the renewal for the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room early this year, contending that owner Stanley Penn, 79, failed to disclose that he was one of several defendants under federal indictment for allegedly allowing an illegal sports book to be run out of the establishment.
The ruling also cited Penn’s transfer of operating control of the business.
The decision was upheld by a city hearing officer in March. The current permit allows the Lucky Lady, 5529 El Cajon Blvd., to remain open until November.
Penn, who has run the business for 43 years, contends in his appeal that he was denied a chance to make a full presentation of his case to the hearing officer, that no evidence was presented to the hearing officer to support the decision, that the decision conflicts with City Council police and/or the municipal code, and that the appeal presents a citywide issue best left to the City Council.
The City Attorney’s office refuted each point in a recent memo.
The city documents said Penn faces federal charges of racketeering and running an illegal gambling business, based on an FBI investigation that started three years ago. Trial is scheduled for Oct. 3.
Eight defendants have pleaded guilty in the case, including a Swedish businessman who financed the sports betting operation and provided access to offshore sports-gaming websites hosted in Curacao, Costa Rica, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom so they could place large illegal bets online while shielding their activity from U.S. authorities, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.