Thursday June 7, 2012 : AMENDED CALIFORNIA POKER BILL UP FOR SENATE DISCUSSION (Update)
Sens. Steinberg and Wright bow to tribal pressure
California Senate Bill 1463, an intrastate online poker legalization proposal introduced by Senators Darrel Steinberg and Rod Wright, will again be front-and-centre before a Senate committee on June 12 following amendments designed to ameliorate the opposition of tribal opponents.
* Limiting licence applications to existing card rooms and casinos that already offer poker;
* The removal of a provision that would have paved the way for the introduction of internet casino gaming after a two year period;
* A reduction in the licensing duration from ten years to five;
* The removal of a clause requiring tribes to waive sovereignty rights in order to hold a coveted online poker license;
* Applicants must have a trouble free record with the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) although applicants can form new subsidiaries and partnerships with entities not bound by the three-year ‘good standing' provision, possibly creating space for outsiders like Bwin.Party, which recently announced a tribal partnership ;
* Licence fees will remain at $30 million as originally proposed, but can be renegotiated after five years and now has a duration of five years;
* The CGCC will issue online poker licenses, not the state’s Department of Justice;
* Bureau of State Audits to compile a report to the Legislature on the licensing and regulatory process at least four years after the regulatory regime is implemented.