California Senators Propose Bill to Legalize Intrastate Gambling

Posted by Gerry Poltorak on Feb 29, 2012 Posted in Legal Poker News, US Poker News | No Comments »

California lawmakers are debating a bill that would legalize online poker in California titled The Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012. This bill is cosponsored by Senators Darrell Steinberg and Roderick Wright.

Wright has been struggling to legalize Internet gambling in the state since 2010. A number of Indian casinos have supported his bills. However, other tribes objected to the bills, believing they would reduce revenues from land-based casinos.

This bill could help the state significantly as it attempts to cut its $9.2 billion deficit. Each website would pay a $30 million licensure fee before they operated. In addition, each website would contribute to the Internet Gambling Licensing Fund to cover all regulatory and investigative costs associated with maintaining their license.

Under these new policies, gaming would only be open to players within California. The bill would also make the offer or play of any gambling game a misdemeanor if it was not authorized by the state of California. Steinberg and Wright believe that this bill will compel companies and consumers to gamble through sites approved by California gaming regulators.

A number of agencies would be required to monitor the outcomes of the bill, which include the state Treasurer, the California Gaming Control Commission and the Internet Gambling Fund. Gaming companies would be required to contribute funds to each of these organizations. In addition, the Treasurer, Gaming Commission and Franchise Tax Board would be required to make regular reports to the state Legislature describing what progress the state has made in reaching the policy goals and terms of the bill.

Additionally, the bill would impose a mandate that would require gaming companies to restrict accessibility to their sites. They would be required to ensure that minors and anyone outside the state borders would not have access before they could apply for a license.

As the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Steinberg is perhaps the most influential voice in getting this bill passed. He forecasts that the bill could bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenues to the state.

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