Written On 5/19/11 :
Correa proposal now an urgency statute to secure potential internet poker revenues
Californian Senator Lou Correa, the author of California bill SB40, has added impetus to his online poker legalization proposal by amending it to urgency status in order to ensure that the state can “act quickly to secure potential online poker revenues before the opportunity is lost”.
The changed status means that SB40 will remain active and retain the right to progress through this year’s state legislative cycle without being subject to legislative committee deadlines, reports lazd.net.
The urgency status process must be signed off by the governor of California, but then comes into immediate effect.
Senator Correa, whose bill appears to enjoy wider backing than that of a rival bill proposed by Senator Rod Wright, said last week:
“With federal action looming and the market wide open, we have to quickly authorize online poker in California. To delay will mean the loss of more than $1.4 billion in new state revenue at a time when it is severely needed.”
Correa's numbers came from a study conducted by former state finance director Tim Gage, which predicted a 47 percent increase over previous estimates due to the recent shutdown of major online poker states by US federal authorities.
Correa's SB 40, "California First: The State Funding, Job Creation and Online Gaming Accountability Act," would extend the state’s existing poker regulations to the Internet.
SB40 will authorise five online poker sites. Operation of the first three sites will launch immediately after being licensed by the Bureau of Gambling Control. The final two sites will be made available within three years of the launch of online poker and follow a review of licensing and regulatory practices by the Bureau of Gambling Control and future authorization by the state legislature.
California's established gaming partners – tribes and card clubs – will be eligible to operate online poker, either in concert with each other or individually. This ensures that all California tribes and card clubs are eligible to participate in online poker operation.
Online poker regulations have been adjusted to prohibit the creation of "online poker cafes." The amendments also modify penalties for illegal operation and play of online poker in California.
These amendments come in the wake of California Congressional Representative John Campbell's introduction of federal gaming legalization that would ship California jobs and revenues out of state, according to proponents of a state licensing regime.
Sen. Correa said in his announcement that "California must act and act quickly to control its future. It is in the state's best interest to harness the collective strength of our established and trusted gaming partners to maximize the benefit to California."