Saturday July 19,2014 : CALIFORNIA CARD ROOMS SUPPORT LEGALISED ONLINE POKER
But 25 of the state's 88 card rooms want to include the notorious "bad actor" clause.
In an initiative apparently spearheaded by California Grand Casino in Northern California, 25 of the Golden State's 88 poker card rooms have come out in support of legalised intrastate online poker as the legislative debate heats up with an end-August legislative deadline in sight.
The 25 operators, including Hollywood Park and Hustler in Los Angeles, wrote to state politicians this week giving their thoughts on the issue, which unfortunately include an insistence that a "bad actor" clause be included in any legalization, barring any operator who continued to accept US action after the implementation of UIGEA in 2006.
That would fly in the face of attempts by the Pokerstars – Morongo – Commerce, Hawaiian Gardens and The Bike card rooms alliance, which wants to exclude such a clause and leave it to the experienced regulator to determine the suitability or otherwise of applicants.
The latest development adds strength to the pro-bad actor lobby, following as it does a draft law said to be awaiting introduction to the state legislature on behalf of 13 Californian tribal interests which reportedly includes a "bad actor" provision .
In the latest development, the card rooms wrote to two state lawmakers who currently have legalization bills before the state legislature, State Senator Lou Correa and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, along with members of the state Governmental Organisational Committees, laying out their support for online poker legalization; that all card rooms be given choice in participation; and that a bad actor clause be included.
“It is essential that card rooms be able to participate in internet poker in a meaningful way to protect our existing poker business, jobs and tax base,” the letter asserts, adding that there must be fair and clearly understood legalization that will allow the card rooms to take part on reasonable business terms.
Despite the sudden upsurge in activity on internet poker, there do not appear at this stage to be any hearings scheduled in the near future on the subject, a situation confirmed this week by staffers working for the chairman of the House governmental organisation committee, Isadore Hall.
The legislature is currently in recess, returning August 4, which leaves even less time to achieve legalization before the end-August deadline.