California

California to Try, Try Again with Latest Online Poker Bill

caliStop us if you’ve heard this one before: California state legislators will soon be considering a new intrastate online poker bill.  After two previous efforts to authorize in-state online poker to serve the residents of the United States’ most populous state, one of the previous bills’ ardent supporters, Lou Correa, is back for another try.

Correa has introduced his latest effort, State Senate Bill 678, which would, if passed, amend California’s existing gaming laws to add provisions for the creation and operation of an i-poker network, under the aegis of the California Gambling Control Commission.

The bill remains in a preliminary form, having been immediately submitted to the state Senate Rules Committee, which is expected to flesh out most of the body of the bill, including who will be eligible for licensure and how the apparatus of any online network would be regulated.

Exactly who will be deemed eligible for licensure will be one of the biggest early battles for this latest iteration of Correa’s bill.  Previous efforts in California gave fallen apart after internecine battles broke out between California’s numerous and powerful tribal gaming interests and other casino and parimutuel concerns.

A power play engineered by the Morongo and San Miguel bands likely doomed the previous version of the California bill, which also resulted in the collapse of the play-money CalShark.com poker site, which was set up to generate advance consumer interest in a real-money California site.  CalShark is gone now, though the divisions that caused the collapse of earlier intrastate online poker bills remain.

Here’s the framework for the latest bill, SB 678:

. . . .

SB 678, as introduced, Correa. Internet gambling.
The Gambling Control Act provides for the licensure of certain individuals and establishments that conduct controlled games, as defined, and for the regulation of these gambling activities by the California Gambling Control Commission. The Department of Justice has related investigatory and enforcement duties under the act. Any violation of these provisions is punishable as a misdemeanor, as specified.
This bill would authorize the operation of Internet poker Web sites within the borders of this state. The bill would require the commission to establish a regulatory framework for the licensure of eligible entities and the operation of Internet poker Web sites within the borders of the state.

DIGEST KEY

Vote: majority   Appropriation: no   Fiscal Committee: yes   Local Program: no  


BILL TEXT

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.

 Chapter 5.2 (commencing with Section 19990) is added to Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:

CHAPTER  5.2. Authorization and Regulation of Internet Poker and Consumer Protection Act of 2013
19990.

Internet poker Web sites may be operated within the borders of this state in accordance with this chapter and all other applicable laws and regulations.

19991.

The California Gambling Control Commission shall establish a regulatory framework for both of the following:

(a) The licensure of eligible entities to operate Internet poker Web sites.
(b) The operation of Internet poker Web sites within the borders of the state.
19992.

 Eligible entities may apply to the commission for licensure pursuant to this chapter.

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