Sen. Lou Correa introduced an online poker bill last Friday, giving the California Legislature two options to consider this legislative session.
Correa, who also proposed a bill in July, 2011 that failed to reach a committee vote despite several amendments, introduced SB 678 on the last possible day of the session deadline. The Authorization and Regulation of Internet Poker and Consumer Protection Act of 2013 seeks to “authorize the operation of Internet poker Web sites within the borders of this state.”
The bill has the support of some Indian tribes, but “will be heavily amended and will likely include card clubs, but not horse racing interests,” Snell & Wilmer, LLP gaming attorney Harsh P. Parikh told PokerUpdate.com.
In December, Sen. Roderick Wright proposed SB 51, which does permit ractracks to apply for online poker licenses. Wright is trying again after his co-sponsored proposal last year, SB 1463, was bogged down by infighting among the state’s card rooms, tribes and horse racing interests.
While California is aiming for intrastate online poker, other states who have enacted or are considering online gambling legislation would like to see the Golden State pass interstate regulations. California is the most populous state and would be heartily welcomed by other states hoping to forge interstate compacts.
Last Friday, Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada signed an interstate online poker bill that abolishes the need to obtain federal approval in order to partner with other states and increase player pools. However, from the looks of things, California is prepared to go it alone with their online poker regime.