The legislative scene on internet gambling legalisation in California has been revitalised this week with a fresh attempt by the Morongo Band of Indians and its associates to legalise online poker and now a fresh attempt by Senator Rod Wright, who launched his SB45 proposal late Wednesday.
The Capitol Weekly reports that the senator’s latest bill has echoes of his previously proposed SB1485, which was moderately successful but failed to survive before the mid-term elections truncated the last state Senate session.
The newspaper reports that both bills would require the California Gambling Control Commission to enter into contracts with up to three hub operators. The operators would be allowed to offer online poker to California residents under contracts lasting up to 20 years.
On Monday, Senator Lou Correa introduced poker legislation on behalf of the California Online Poker Association (COPA), an outfit led by two southern California gaming tribes, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Correa’s SB 40 calls on the California Gambling Control Commission to offer a licence to offer online poker within California.
A COPA spokesman referred to attempts at federal level by Nevada Senator Harry Reid to federally regulate and legalise online poker, telling The Capitol Weekly:
“COPA opposes the current lame-duck effort by Harry Reid because it hurts California. Reid’s effort rewards the Nevada gaming interests that gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations during the recent election.
“California has a $25 billion deficit and an unemployment rate of 12%. Any revenues generated by Internet poker in California should stay within the state and not be shipped off to Washington, D.C., or Nevada or even offshore.”