Internet poker legalization efforts in California may be over

An effort to legalize and regulate Internet poker in California appears dead.

According to the Oakland Tribune, California State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said a measure backed by a coalition of card rooms and Indian tribes wouldn’t be voted on this year.

State Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, had said his Senate Bill 40 would bring California some 1,300 jobs and $1.4 billion in revenue in the next decade.

Several tribes with casinos said a $50 million "buy-in" for online poker licenses would create an unfair advantage for certain interests. The bill was never acted upon in committee.

Steinberg told the bill’s supporters "significant, unresolved issues remain, including tribal exclusivity and waiver of sovereign immunity, the types of games that would be authorized, who would be eligible to apply for gaming site licenses and potential federal constitutional questions."

The legislative year ends Sept. 9.


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