August 15th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1949, the Seal Beach City Council passed what was described by the Los Angeles Times as “an ironclad anti-gambling ordinance.” 

There was already a city ordinance against gambling on the books, but the new ordinance was designed to close loopholes in the previous ordinance. This followed a failed city initiative to allow poker rooms in Seal Beach that was voted down by Seal Beach voters in July 1949. 

The city council meeting was packed with a charged crowd as Mayor Frank Shufelt, councilmen F. O. Brostrom, Albert R. Leonard, Emil F. Jacobsen, and Oliver L. Bowers voted unanimously to adopt the new ordinance. Richard Steyling, chairman of the Seal Beach Civic Improvement Association, the organization sponsoring the ordinance, told the Long Beach Independent that the new ordinance would ban virtually every type of game of chance from Seal Beach.

Well, that settles that.


Of course, nothing was settled. The battle between gambling interests and anti-gambling forces would continue in Seal Beach well into the next decade.

– Michael Dobkins

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