Strides Made This Week in US Online Poker

Online GamblingGambling Legalization Try Made By Illinois Senator Again

John Cullerton, Illinois State Senator, who has previously but not successfully given support to the idea of intrastate online gambling legalization is creating a new stand-alone proposal and has been circulating a draft as reported by Crain’s Chicago Business.  This new initiative is following last month’s ripping out of online gambling clauses by an expansion to a land gambling bill.  The office of Sen. Cullerton gave confirmation on Tuesday that a proposal was being sent around but details are sparse, with an aide to the Senator saying that details would be provided soon.

Reports that are unconfirmed give light that the Cullerton bill proposes a $20 million licensing fee along with a tax rate that is based on the GGR of various types of games and ranges from 7.5 to 20 percent.  All aspects of online gambling would be covered by legislation but with sports betting reservations.  A serious obstacle has been presented by the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Illinois online gambling will only be allowed for residents over 21 years of age.  There will be regulations by a new body set up for online gambling operators with the purpose inside the state lottery and titled Division of Internet Gaming.  Michael Jones, State lottery chief, will be given total control of the regulator and the enforcement of the provisions with the use of state agencies.  Authorization will be given to the Internet gaming unit to contract with foreign operators and government entities if they are required.

Interstate Talks on Internet Poker by Nevada Governor

Brian Sandoval, Nevada’s governor, has let no time pass with investigating interstate online poker compact possibilities with similar minded governors after the Nevada legislators approved this sort of activity recently.  It was reported by Howard Stutz that GameWire was well-informed that Sandoval went ahead and hosted discussions with multiple state governors even though the specific states that they are concerned about have yet to be pointed out.  Sandoval is reported to have said after visiting the new corporate headquarters in Las Vegas for BMM International that he has spoken to some of the governors and he will be introducing the concept of compacting them.

He goes on to say that it is in the very early stages and they have a big opportunity due to having the infrastructure and players from other states.  He is hopeful the talks will continue.  As of now, Delaware and New Jersey are among the only other states to pass a specific legislation that permits online gambling.  Moves are also happening in Massachusetts, California, Texas, Illinois, Texas, Illinois and other states are looking into possibilities.

GameWire was told by Sandoval that legislative and administrative arrangements would need to be in place in these other states prior to any collaborative contracts for player access will be signed.  Although, he said that he is happy with the progress in Nevada that saw the first Nevada-licensed online poker site go live earlier this month.  He goes on to say that they are already gaining over the other markets with people signing up worldwide.

Third California Online Poker Bill Comes Forward

A new bill for online poker was drafted in the state of California.  This bill would let well-established tribal casinos and card rooms in the state to be awarded a license.  The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2013 will only give legalization to poker, not other casino gambling forms.  By doing this, California aims to join with other jurisdictions to form more liquidity even though California doesn’t really need it, as the state has over 37 million residents.

Horse racing groups will not be eligible for online poker in this new bill draft.  A “bad actor” clause in this measure is going to make it so any online gambling firm in California in the past could be stopped from entering the market in the GoldenState.  This market is really the best overall the market in the United States.  Tribal casinos and card rooms may be able to group with business-to-business technology providers that are placed outside of California like Nevada’s Cantor Gaming.

This bill was designed by eight of California’s tribal groups while two other initiatives recently are floating among the legislature.  A group called California Online Poker Association collapsed among the disagreement between members last year.  In the past these bills have failed due to all of the gaming parties that are interested in the state not being able to come to a consensus and not wanting outside firms to be able to get in on this action.  Sen. Lou Correa introduced Senate Bill No. 678 in February that would OK state-approved sites to accept bets from inside California’s borders.  In total, there have been three attempts to legalize online poker this year.