Wednesday's California State Assembly committee hearing on internet poker looks to be the most inclusive and thorough of any such meeting ever held at the state or federal level, featuring testimony from 33 witnesses covering a wide range of topics.
Titled "The Future Public Policy and Fiscal Implications of Authorizing iPoker Gaming in California," the hearing in front of the 19 members of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. PT and be webcast here.
The informational hearing is broken up into 10 topics and groupings of speakers. Following chairman Isadore Hall's opening remarks, former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board Mark Lipparelli will be among those who talk about how internet gaming evolved. Then Tobin Prior, CEO of Ultimate Gaming; Tom Ballance, President and COO of Borgata Hotel and Casino in New Jersey; and Chris Krafcik of Gambling Compliance will speak on what can be learned from Nevada and New Jersey.
Each witness will have the opportunity to talk for several minutes, with questions from committee members at the end of each section, meaning this will be a long hearing.
Chairmen of seven tribes — including Mark Macarro of Pechanga, Lynn Valbueno of San Manuel and Robert Martin of Morongo — will cover how internet poker could affect current Tribal gaming operations. Representatives of the card clubs and horse racing industry will get the same opportunity.
Richard Lopes, chairman of the California Gambling Control Commission, will provide information on California's readiness to regulate internet poker and what would be needed for implementation.
Sheldon Adelson also will be getting his objections noted for the record, with Las Vegas Sands vice president Andy Abboud among those to discuss the socioeconomic affects internet poker may have on the population.
Other topics to be covered include what measures need to be taken to ensure that iPoker in California is safe, secure and reliable, the views of internet gaming service providers, and how legalization would impact labor in the state.
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