CA Senate Bill No. 678 - The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2013 (Sen. Correa)

by Ian Imrich
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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

SB 678, as amended in Senate on August 19, 2013, Senator Correa. Internet gambling.

(1) The Gambling Control Act provides for the licensure of certain individuals and establishments that conduct controlled games, as defined, and for the regulation of these gambling activities by the California Gambling Control Commission. The Department of Justice has related investigatory and enforcement duties under the act. Any willful violation of these provisions is punishable as a misdemeanor, as specified.

This bill would authorize intrastate Internet poker, as specified. The bill would authorize eligible entities to apply for a license to operate an intrastate Internet poker Web site offering the play of authorized games to players within California, as specified. The bill would prohibit the offer or play of any gambling game provided over the Internet that is not an authorized game permitted by the state pursuant to this bill. The bill would prohibit a person, except as provided, from aggregating computers or other access devices in a public setting within this state for the purpose of playing a gambling game on the Internet, or to promote, facilitate, or market that activity. The bill would make any violation of these provisions punishable as a misdemeanor. By creating new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would require the commission, and any other state agency with a duty pursuant to these provisions, to adopt regulations within 120 days after the effective date of this bill, in consultation with the department to implement these provisions, and to facilitate the operation of intrastate Internet poker Web sites and expedite the state’s receipt of revenues. This bill would authorize the commission to issue initial licenses, as specified, and would establish the procedure for license renewal.

The bill would require a license applicant to apply to the commission and pay an application deposit sufficient to cover all costs associated with the issuance of the license, for deposit into the Internet Poker Licensing Fund, as created by the bill, to be continuously appropriated to the department and the commission in the amounts reasonably necessary to investigate and evaluate the suitability of license applicants. The bill would establish separate license procedures for an applicant that is a federally reorganized Indian tribe.

This bill would require the payment of a regulatory fee, for deposit into the Internet Poker Fund, as created by the bill, subject to annual appropriation by the Legislature for the actual reasonable costs of license oversight, consumer protection, state regulation, problem gambling programs, and other purposes related to this bill. The bill would require each licensee to pay a one-time license fee for deposit in the General Fund. The license fee would be credited against fees imposed on the licensee’s gross gaming proceeds, as specified.

This bill would authorize each licensee, subject to approval by the department, and the department, subject to approval by the commission, to establish administrative procedures to resolve registered player complaints.

This bill would require the department, in consultation with the commission, the Treasurer, and the Franchise Tax Board, to issue a report to the Legislature describing the state’s efforts to meet the policy goals articulated in this bill within one year of the effective date of this bill and, annually, thereafter. The bill would also require the Bureau of State Audits, at least 4 years after the issue date of any license by the state, but no later than 5 years after that date, to issue a report to the Legislature detailing the implementation of this bill, as specified.

(2) The bill would state that its provisions are severable.

(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

(4) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

--LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

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