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Normandie Casino

1$ Chip Normandie CasinoInitially, the casino was called the Western Club. It was opened in 1940 on Western Avenue before Russ Miller, its founder, purchased and renamed it to Normandie. Its native city, Gardena was the first to allow legal gambling activities in Los Angeles. As a result, many card clubs were established, boasting up to six luxurious clubs by the 1960s. Gardena’s monopoly in card gaming halted after Bell Club was established in Bell City, California. This move prompted Russ Miller to move Normandie Casino to a better place- the West Rosecrans Avenue. Here he found a vast 50,000-square-foot of land where he set up his casino together with an entertainment venue called The Million Dollar Showroom.

Russ introduced the Texas Hold-em and Seven-card stud games to the existing line-up, which included the Lowball and the Five-card draw. He later added the Pai Gow Poker, Blackjack and the Super 9 games in the mid-1980s due to the growing Asian influence in the 1980s. Today you can find these Games at the 888 Casino. Miller also opened the famous Red Dragon Room, which hosted hi-limit Asian games. Normandie is also remembered for being the first casino to host the luxurious VIP Baccarat and Blackjack Room in South California.

Larry Flynt threatened to shut down the former Normandie Casino, now known as Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady Casino, after Gardena City Council members approved a measure requiring the adult entertainment mogul to contribute $800,000 monthly to the city. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

History

Normandie Casino was only one-year shy of its 70th birthday if it had not been acquired in 2016. The establishment has enjoyed decades of gambling activities, being the oldest casino in Southern California. Apart from the already listed Asian and California games, the casino has the Omaha high/low game and the Caribbean Stud games for those looking for some head to head poker action. It also boasts 53 tables, which are played every day, all day, so any gambler is sure to find the competition he is looking for and great prizes. The EZ Baccarat does not require commission and the Blackjack offers 3:2 pay-out, a rate you will not find anywhere in Southern California. If you want to play Baccarat online, you should take a look on the Bet365 Casino mobile.

The casino is not as large as other card rooms in Los Angeles, but it boasts an admirable selection of low-limit games. It also has a 1/2 NL game with a maximum buy-in of $300 that is spread in the evening after 7 p.m. As such, NL player looking for action should stop by during the weekend night for the wild 2/5 game. The game resembles high stake games because of the no max buy-in feature. If you search for high roller slots online, you should read our Party Casino review.

The casino also has a Late-Night Tournament that offers a $2,000 guarantee. It is held during the weekend and at night from 10.15 p.m. On Fridays there is a Ladies night $2,000 guarantee competition that is held from 7 p.m. and is hosted by Barbara Enright. All these tournaments require a $10 entry fee with soft drinks and food included. The buy-ins are worth $50. Before the sale, Normandie had installed an automated waitlist and flat screen TV. There’s a restaurant serving good food, a snack area, a gift shop and a relatively large showroom. Players also get to enjoy a large selection of beer, handcrafted cocktails, wine and delicious tableside eats.

Interesting facts to be mentioned:

Normandie was the first casino to host the VIP Blackjack and Baccarat in Southern California
• The casino featured in The X-Files, CSI, Malcolm in the Middle, Bluffy the Vampire Slayer, the Mentalist and Big Love on HBO
• The casino hosts a Happy Hour from 4–7 p.m. every day
• The casino only hosts table games
• The casino also has a sports bar where sporting events are displayed on its multiple plasma TV throughout the day

Normandie Casino Photos

What was the Reason Normandie Casino got Closed?

In January 2016, the casino came under scrutiny by the state due to allegations that the owners had violated anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Security Act. There were allegations that the casino had failed to record large transactions in the year 2013. During that year, the casino had awarded a high-rolling gambler with $1 million within a six-week-period and agreed to hide his identity. It was alleged that the casino staff helped players conceal their wins by separating the large transactions into small amounts.

The casino was also accused of failing to set up an effective program to prevent money laundering activities. Casinos are required to record the identities, social security numbers, addresses and taxpayer information of all gamblers who cash out over $10,000 in cash prizes. This is because casinos and card rooms like Normandie are cash-sensitive businesses that make them attractive to criminals looking to launder dirty money hence, the need to be cautious in meeting these statutory obligations. The owners pleaded guilty to these allegations and confessed to hiring independent gaming promoters to attract high-rolling gamblers.

James Otero, the United States District Judge, ordered the casino to pay $500,000 for each of the two accusations and forfeit $ 1,383,530, the sum of unreported transactions of 2013, and the owner was given 120 days to sell the casino. By June 2016, the casino had been sold to Larry Flynt, the owner of the famous Hustler Casino. The acquisition gave Larry a monopoly in Gardena gambling, being the other card club town in Los Angeles. He, however, renamed it to Luck Lady Casino.