Business · Fresno

Fresno’s Club One Casino clears final hurdle, adds 20 more tables

After several months of having to prove that he is a “good actor,” Club One Casino owner Kyle Kirkland can finally rest easy. 

The Fresno City Council approved an additional 20 card tables for Club One on Thursday, bumping up the casino’s total operating tables to 51, the number Kirkland originally requested. 

“I think you’ll find today’s conversation to be a very smooth one,” Councilman Tyler Maxwell told Kirkland during the council meeting, proving to provide a change of pace from previous discussions regarding Club One and the council. 

Maxwell thanked Kirkland for his understanding in waiting the past 90 days to receive permits for the additional 20 tables and said it was beneficial for providing time to hear feedback from the community regarding any concerns about the card room’s move to the east-central Fresno neighborhood. 

Maxwell asked Kirkland if the delay proved to be harmful to operations. Kirkland diplomatically pivoted to the fact that opening at the new location and renovations would have prohibited him from being able to employ a full staff on day one.

Unmentioned was whether he could have been at full capacity if given full approval three months ago.

Currently, Club One is using 25 card tables as building renovations continue, Kirkland said. 

Thursday’s approval was an end to an unusually arduous process for Club One receiving full approval. 

After operating in downtown Fresno for over 20 years, Kirkland used the shutdowns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to reevaluate business operations and make the move to Granite Park, giving the card room ample outdoor space to work with. 

The council was originally set to approve Club One’s cardroom permit on July 29, but Maxwell pushed for a delay and asked Kirkland to hold a neighborhood meeting to address any concerns about the move. 

Kirkland and the Fresno City Manager’s Office held such a meeting on Aug. 5, meeting Maxwell’s request. 

But instead of approving all 51 card tables in one vote, on Aug. 19 the majority of the council voted to grant Club One just 31 gaming tables and hold back the remaining 20 tables for a 90-day period until the casino was more established in the neighborhood.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.