Larry Flynt Wins Latest Round in Calif. Casino Law Court Fight

LOS ANGELES—Larry Flynt, founder of the Hustler empire, has been fighting a three-year court battle over a California law that prohibits him — or any casino owner — from operating or owning a gambling establishment in another state. On Monday, a federal judge gave Flynt at least a partial victory in the ongoing case. According to a report by Courthouse News Service, federal Judge John Mendez quashed the state government’s attempt to get the lawsuit brought by Flynt, and two other owners of California cardrooms, thrown out of court. Flynt’s lawsuit against the state seeks to overturn a 1986 law that was initially designed to keep the mob out of the state’s gaming industry — an aim that Flynt says is now obsolete due to strict state regulations over gambling establishments, according to the Courthouse News report. Mendez in a 14-page ruling made no decision on the law itself, but said Flynt’s claim that the law would force him to divest his holdings in his two Los Angeles-area casinos — Hustler Casino and Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady Casino — was enough to let his challenge to the 1986 Gambling Registration Act to go on. Flynt, in a statement to AVN, vowed to keep up the battle. “It’s not over yet, and we are going to appeal the decision,” the legendary publisher and adult-industry magnate said. “It’s a stupid law to have on the books and has been there for over a hundred years. We think we have a very good chance of prevailing.” Flynt may have growing support among California politicians. Despite vetoing a bill in 2016 that would granted one casino an exemption from the law, then-Governor Jerry Brown called on state legislators to “thoughtfully examine those laws and amend them so that all participants in the industry receive the same benefits and opportunities.” A 2002 report by the independent state oversight body known as The Little Hoover Commission also called for the law to be revised. The report said that the law may have once been necessary as an obstacle to organized crime’s infiltration of the state gambling industry, but “was before publicly traded gambling companies emerged as the dominant owners of casinos in other states and before sophisticated gambling regulations were established in states such as Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan and even California.” Flynt also claims in the lawsuit that the law would force him to sell his non-gambling businesses, such as his chain of strip clubs, if one of his business partners acquired an interest in an out-of-state gambling establishment. Mendez did not agree with that specific claim by Flynt, but did say that Flynt’s claim that the 1986 law wrongly regulates interstate commerce deserves a further hearing.  Flynt and his co-plaintiffs do not ask for monetary damages in the lawsuit, asking instead that the 1986 law be ruled unconstitutional. Photo by J C / Wikimedia Commons 

written by: Lawrence Avery

source: Larry Flynt Wins Latest Round in Calif. Casino Law Court Fight | AVN