California Grand Casino in Northern California led an initiative including 25 of the Golden State’s 88 poker card rooms, which expressed their support for intrastate online poker, making the debate over legalizing it, even more hot.
Of course there is more to it as it appears that the 25 operators, which recently wrote to state politicians expressing their support for US online poker rooms in the state, insisted that a “bad actor” clause should be included in any future legalization, which would deprive any operator that continued to accept US action after the implementation of UIGEA in 2006, from operating under the new law.
The effect of the “bad actor” clause
Poker rooms in California express support for online poker in the state
• However 25 of them insist that a “bad actor” clause should be included
• This will deprive a lot of providers to operate under the new law
• The legislation will probably not be achieved before the end of the deadline in the end of August
This clause would affect directly the attempts of the Pokerstars – Morongo – Commerce, Hawaiian Gardens and The Bike card rooms’ alliance, to make sure there is no such clause, and leave the experienced regulator to decide which candidates are suitable and which are not.
The latest development in the legislation will definitely add strength to the “pro-bad actor” lobby, which includes the 13 Californian tribes that deal with gambling.
The support letter, which was submitted by the poker rooms backing online poker rooms, was addressed to State Senator Lou Correa and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, who are the two state lawmakers who currently have legalization bills before the state legislature, along with members of the state Governmental Organizational Committees.
The letter declares that: “It is essential that card rooms be able to participate in internet poker in a meaningful way to protect our existing poker business, jobs and tax base,” adding that the legislation must be fair and will allow card rooms to take part on rational business terms.
Request for regulatory harmonization
Isadore Hall, chairman of the House governmental organization committee, confirmed that despite the latest developments on the issue of online poker rooms, there are still no hearings on the question scheduled yet. The legislators are beginning work on 4th August, which means that there will be even less time for any legislation to be achieved before the deadline in the end of August.
Still, Richard Schuetz, head of the California Gambling Control Commission, appealed to the Congress to come up with a federal solution that covers various online gambling activities, which follow US gambling laws.
He said: “To replicate the state-by-state experience of the terrestrial casino evolution across the country for the iGaming sector is a troubling thought, for the nature of the systems involved in iGaming present a unique challenge in making them accommodate a multitude of regulatory standards.”
Moreover: “The goal is regulatory harmonization, especially over the platform, which is the center of the operation, controlling the operation of the game.”
Schuetz, declared: “If, instead, more states authorize online gaming without thinking through platform standardization and other achievable areas of harmonization, it will soon be too late and the US will end up looking like Europe, with a patchwork of jurisdictional requirements.”
And added: “As our friends across the pond have come to realize, the lack of standardization is less than optimal and has spurred the European Union to mount an after-the-fact initiative to align what is discordant. The effort has not been easy or particularly successful.”