Despite the belief that Federal legislation of internet gaming is unlikely in the Congress dominated by the Republicans, it was a Republican Congressman from California who introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act on March 17. The bill highly resembles legislation authored by former Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank (D-MA), which made significant progress last July, however never made it to the House floor. Barney Frank is now one of the main sponsors of John Campbell’s bill.
This bi-partisan effort will be watched closely in California where two lawmakers, Sen. Lou Correa and Sen. Roderick Wright, have introduced bills to regulate internet poker and make sure related revenue feeds their state budget rather than Federal coffers. The California debate has recently gained even more momentum when a powerful tribal organisation, California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), joined the coalition of other tribes and card rooms, called California Online Poker Association (COPA), in supporting Senator Correa’s bill.
COPA’s Online Director, Pierre Wuu, believes that recent events are helping to advance Senate Bill 40: “California makes up the single largest online poker market in the country. With a $25 billion budget deficit and record unemployment, legislators are determined to keep the jobs and revenue in California. The recent introduction of federal legislation only increases the urgency for California to pass its own bill.”
With the threat of Federal regulation, the internet poker discussion in California is expected to continue. Both Senator Correa and Congressman Campbell will participate in a high-level meeting, Global iGaming Summit & Expo (GiGSE), organised on May 17-19 in San Francisco, CA to discuss optimal regulatory scenarios and find consensus that will benefit both the players and the industry alike. They will be joined by over 300 delegates who represent all the key gaming stakeholders, including land-based casinos, tribal organisations, card rooms, horse-racing operators, gaming suppliers and global iGaming companies.
Event website: www.gigse.com
Event dates and location: 17-19 May 2011, San Francisco
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