Posted 1/6/11 : Three legislative proposals on internet poker now before the state legislature
Reports earlier this week that there are now three internet poker legalization proposals before Californian lawmakers have been followed by the news that the California Gaming Association has committed its support to one of them – state senator Lou Correa's SB40.
The CGA represents 69 of the licensed card clubs – some 75 percent – across the Golden State, and its support will be welcomed by tribal groups like the Morongo, which has allied with land card rooms in trying to exclusively corner the online poker market in California once the pastime is legalised.
“Senate Bill 40 will help revitalize the state’s economy while protecting players,” said Rob Ross, CGA’s Executive Director. “This bill is an opportunity for licensed card clubs to participate in a new and rapidly evolving technology, should they elect to do so.”
He added that the Correa bill will create a needed source of new revenues and jobs as California struggles with a record $28 billion deficit and a soaring unemployment rate of 12 percent.
In a statement Wednesday, the CGA argued that SB 40 keeps revenues generated by online poker in California and does not export much needed state revenue out of state or, worse, out of the country to illegal, foreign-based online gaming sites.
Ross said SB 40 contains provisions that CGA believes are key elements in establishing a safe and secure option for online poker in California. The strict regulation of operators called for by SB 40 will ensure that the more than 2 million Californians who play poker online each week will be protected from various forms of fraud and theft that currently occur, he claimed.
State Senator Correa was quick to note his gratitude for the CGA's support, saying in a statement: “I’m honored to have the support of the California Gaming Association behind SB 40. The growing support for this legalization shows that now is the time for California to engage by creating a legal and safe environment for our residents who play online poker while also generating new revenues and jobs for our state.”
Correa emphasised that his bill protects the underaged from gambling online through strict registration and login requirements. The regulations will ensure that any online poker Web site licensed in California meets the strict standards established by CGA’s members, he concluded.