California Senator Increases Efforts to Legalize Online Poker

Posted By: Date: 02/26/2013 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

There is much going on across the United States in regards to the legalization of online poker and other forms of gambling, and there are some in California who believe that trailing so far behind at this point in the game could be a detrimental mistake, primarily to the state’s tax coffers. Efforts to legalize online gambling in California have been present for two years now, but a renewed effort has surfaced in the form of SB 678.

The new Senate Bill, which aims to legalize and regulate intrastate online poker in California, was proposed by State Senator Jose Luis Correa. The addition of SB 678 makes the second piece of legislation currently floating through the state’s public offices. Senator Roderick Wright introduced SB 51 in 2012, which has yet to be approved or dismissed.  Senator Correa, who represents suburban Los Angeles, launched his online poker measure as a supplementary chapter to California’s Division Eight of the Business and Professions Code that would allow particular entities to become licensed to operate online gambling businesses under the controlled regulation of the state.

Senate Bill 678’s introduction reads:

“The Gambling Control Act provides for the licensure of certain individuals and establishments that conduct controlled games as defined and for the regulation of these gambling activities by the California Gambling Control Commission. The Department of Justice has related investigatory and enforcement duties under the act. Any violation of these provisions is punishable as a misdemeanor as specified.  “This bill would authorize the operation of Internet poker websites within the borders of this state. The bill would require the Commission to establish a regulatory framework for the licensure of eligible entities and the operation of Internet poker websites within the borders of the state.”?

The measure must now be reviewed by the state committee before it can be accepted and passed on to the California State Senate for further analysis and approval. Should the Senate approve the legislation, it will be delivered to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, who would eventually sign or veto the bill.

Just last week, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a law into effect that legalizes online poker on an interstate level, surpassing its current legislation for intrastate online poker. Sandoval’s signature on the bill, AB 114, marks the first time a US state has given itself the authority to legalize online gambling outside its own borders. However, Nevada would have to negotiate contracts with other states before their residents ““ and the residents of those other states ““ could cross borders on the virtual realm.

Sandoval’s passage of an interstate online gaming bill is still somewhat tentative, however. The state was waiting for the US government to pass online gaming laws on a federal level, but when those initiatives stalled, the state took it upon itself to write up the necessary literature. As such, the federal government could stand up and refuse to accept Nevada’s new gambling law. The governor is confident that won’t happen though, saying that the Silver State’s legislation has “good legal standing”?.

Meanwhile, on the eastern coast, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to sign a new intrastate online gambling bill as early as Tuesday, February 26. The state of Delaware has already legalized online gambling on an intrastate level and several other states are proposing similar legislation.

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