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Hustler publisher and gambling impresario wannabe Larry Flynt crapped out in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday. Judge James McBride granted the state’s demurrer to a suit Flynt filed seeking a full casino gambling license like those issued to Indian tribes. Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Gnekow told McBride that Flynt could not claim the same rights as Indian tribes and his suit should be thrown out. “In fact, the right to conduct the forms of gaming at issue here is limited to federally recognized Indian tribes, which are political entities not similarly situated to the plaintiffs’ private business — or any other,” Gnekow said in court papers. She said Flynt could not meet the “sovereign Indian nation” standard that qualifies tribes to set up casinos on their land. “A principal goal of federal Indian policy is to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency and strong tribal government,” Gnekow said. “To say that private card clubs are similarly situated to Indian tribes is to ignore entirely the historically unique political status of Indian tribes vis-�-vis the United States,” her court papers argued. Flynt’s Hustler Casino and the Normandie Casino — both now operating as card rooms in Gardena, Calif. — filed Flynt v. California Gaming Control Commission, 400331, seeking to offer games of chance such as baccarat, blackjack and slot machines. They now only conduct minor card games and bingo. Sacramento, Calif., solo Michael Franchetti argued that his clients were denied equal protection under the law, since their operation of a gambling house was no different than the Indians. Franchetti said his client was in competition with the 43 Indian-operated casinos in California but was denied the opportunity to offer all the games of chance. He said the state denied full gambling rights to Flynt and others because they are “non-Indian Californians,” making the issue a “racial, not political” decision. The judge responded that such was the choice of California voters when in March 2000 they adopted Proposition 1A authorizing Indian tribes to operate full-blown casinos. “I think voters said gambling, but not in my backyard,” McBride said. Franchetti replied that he read the proposition as approving gambling in the state. Flynt’s attorney said he will appeal McBride’s ruling all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. During the Law and Motion hearing, the judge mused about how far back in history gambling could be traced. “Did Adam say to Eve, ‘I’ll lay you 3-to-1 that He won’t do anything if we eat the apple’?” McBride asked rhetorically.

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