California:Poker Voters Introduce Third Bill

“Poker Voters of America” is geared to initiate its draft internet poker bill into the California legislature; strictly speaking it will give lawmakers three bills to mull over as the State is in dire need of cash and needs revenue to not only boost its local economy but to settle outstanding debts as well.

President of Poker Voters Melanie Brenner confirmed that the present bill is up for sponsorship by Assemblyman Gerry Hill, it will be a poker-only version of Senator Rod Wright’s bill introduced in 2010. “The bill differs from Wright’s bill somewhat; it has removed the restrictions on the number of operating hubs and will introduce an additional income distribution component, in essence stakeholder within the company such as the tribes will greatly benefit from this initiative.”

Brenner confirmed the introduction of the other two bills the previous month, the first on behalf of the Morongo Tribe-led California Online Poker Association (COPA) is championed by California Senator Louis Correa and Wright’s reintroduction of his own bill has taken the lobby group by surprise. Our agreement is with the Morongo, they should keep us in the loop at all times and we’re pretty cheesed off since they didn’t do it”, said Brenner.

In a statement issued yesterday Poker Voters said that its prior appointment of former Morongo spokesman Patrick Dorinson as its new executive director that COPA’s advocacy of legislation “to grant COPA members an exclusive monopoly contract to operate internet poker in California….would prohibit partaking by some of the state’s biggest gaming tribes and close to a hundred licensed card clubs.”

“Correa’s bill is going nowhere. Pertaining to Rod Wright’s bill we didn’t expect it. The bill was put in by him as a back-up which clearly indicated to Morongo they can’t expect everything, to dictate internet poker in California,” she added. Wright’s bill has hit the doldrums in Committee last year along with disagreement from the Morongo and card clubs, including the Commerce Casino and the Hollywood Park Casino. Apparently it endeavoured to permit foreign poker sites and Las Vegas casinos to manage and operate internet casino in California.

Brenner stipulated that the sooner the State legalizes internet poker again the better; since the State has a current US$25bn budget deficit. It’s imperative that by the end of the present financial year in April the Morongo and other COPA members must come out in strong support of the Poker Voters’ bill. “Hopefully they won’t be just tagging along; personally I feel they won’t get what they won’t since they are outnumbered now. They have acknowledged the bill and they must enter into a contracted RFP process like every other member.”

Brenner stipulated that most important California gaming tribes, whose support for internet poker in the State poses a question mark, are now backing the legalisation framework laid out within its bill. “The Pechenga (Band of Luiseno Indians) as well as the Agua, whose resistance posed a problem in the past, are eager to get this new bill legalized as soon as possible”, Brenner said in a recent interview.

In conclusion, the Poker Voters chief said that they are actively seeking an alternative sponsor for the bill in legislature, if possible in the upper house. “Introduced by Gerry Hill our bill is now in the assembly”, Brenner concluded.



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