Online Poker bill declared dead in California

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 23, 2011 Posted in Legal Poker News | No Comments »

After the efforts to pass an online poker bill in California were declared “dead” for the current legislative session by state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the groups fighting for California residents’ right to play online poker quickly took to the Internet.

Steinberg is an online poker proponent, and was key supporter of State Senator Lou Correa’s SB 40, which would have legalized online poker in the state. However, Steinberg cited, “significant, unresolved issues remain, including tribal exclusivity and waiver of sovereign immunity, the types of games that would be authorized, who would be eligible to apply for gaming site licenses and potential federal constitutional questions,” as the stumbling blocks in the current debate.

One of the main advocates fighting all along for SB 40 has been US Digital Gaming, which saw their Chairman, Richard Bronson, pen the following letter after Steinberg’s revelation:

Statement From Richard D. Bronson, Chairman Of U.S. Digital Gaming, In Reaction To California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s Letter To Online Gaming Stakeholders Today

Los Angeles, CA (August 22, 2011)– “We embrace Senator Darrell Steinberg’s commitment to getting this important online gaming legislation completed properly and with a focus on creating a successful, healthy long-term industry. There has been good progress in California this year in moving forward and, Senator Steinberg’s support of online gaming is a positive step towards state-by-state approvals, where the states have the right infrastructure for regulation and marketing and a myriad of stakeholders,” said Richard D. Bronson, Chairman of U.S. Digital Gaming. “There is no question that the stakes are high for online gambling in California. With a population of nearly 40 million and among the highest household incomes in North America, gambling experts predict that the online market is bigger than that of England, France and Spain combined, where the online business has been flourishing for years. The potential new state tax revenue could help dramatically boost the state’s economy.”

Bronson added: “As a California-based online gaming company, we see the possibility of either a Federal or State-by-State legalization scenario. We are of the belief that when it comes to protecting California’s divergent interests, a State bill would be the best bet to equitably protect local Native American operations, the horse racing industry and California’s card rooms. Given the state’s serious economic imbalance, California still has a window to be first to the table with serious legislation to legalize online gaming and generate new tax revenue quickly. ”

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