August 24, 2011

California delays online gambling debates

In California, the State Senate has announced that it will delay until at least January any debates on proposed measures that could legalise intrastate online gambling due to its busy schedule.

In a letter sent to members of the upper house late on Monday, State Senate President Darrell Steinberg revealed that no debates will be held on whether to legalise online gambling including poker before the current legislative session ends on September 9.

“We believe the concept of bringing intrastate Internet gaming to California has merit and is worth pursuing in a smart, methodical way,” read the letter from the Sacramento Democrat.

“And, as you know, in the last three years legislative efforts have intensified to authorise intrastate Internet gaming in California - so much so that it now seems abundantly clear the issue is here to stay.”

Steinberg went on to praise the work of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee for identifying ‘problems and solutions’ that have ‘narrowed the differences between the proponents and opponents’.

“Despite these efforts, significant, unresolved issues remain including tribal exclusivity and waiver of sovereignty immunity, the types of games that would be authorised, who would be eligible to apply for gaming site licenses and potential Federal Constitutional questions,” read Steinberg’s letter.

“We believe that well thought out, fair solutions to these differences can be reached, but not before the end of this legislative session on September 9, when Interim Study Recess is scheduled to begin. Rushing to meet a legislative deadline on an issue of such significance for our state and our people would be unwise.

“Having stated that, we also believe a significant amount of progress has been made on intrastate Internet gaming to the point where, absent unforeseen circumstances, we fully expect an objective proposal will be developed during the interim in time for consideration when the legislature reconvenes in 2012.”

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