A Tale of Two Bills: California Legislators Submit Two Poker-Only Bills at the Deadline
With little time remaining on the clock, California legislators hit a double buzzer-beater, submitting two different bills to regulate online poker on the day of the deadline to introduce new legislation.
The first bill is SB 1366 and it was submitted by Sen. Lou Correa, who dropped another bill titled the “Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2014.” This new bill is a carbon copy of SB 678, another previous bill that PokerNews discussed here and would legalize online poker but not other games.
The second, AB 2291, is also poker-only, but it also “establishes a framework to authorize intrastate online poker” according to Chris Grove of OnlinePokerReport.com. If enacted, the bill calls for full regulations within 270 days of passage.
Other summary notes from Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer’s bill include: a $5 million license fee for operators, the establishment of the “Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Fund” to shut down non-compliant sites, and an automatically-renewable 10-year license for approved operators.
Several Native American Tribes have voiced approval for AB 2291, including the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, the Barona Band of Mission Indians and the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians.
The following passage is from a letter sent to tribal leaders:
While most of the language of the bill is similar to what we circulated almost a year ago, this version intentionally leaves open controversial sections, like the so-called bad actor provisions and the number of sites per license. We did so as a demonstration of our commitment to continuing our good-faith efforts to reach tribal consensus through dialogue.
As most of you know, the exact language of an introduced bill rarely if ever is what makes it through the process. We fully expect to see the bill evolve as our tribal conversations continue and as we make our way through the legislative process. But please rest assured, we as tribal leaders are committed to moving forward with a bill that protects tribal rights and honors the commitments we have made to the people of California.
PokerNews will offer an update if any new information comes available regarding either of the two bills.
Photo courtesy of SXC.hu