Internet Poker,  Poker

California Internet Poker Initiative Qualified by Secretary of State for Circulation


Last Friday Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office cleared Anthony Sandstrom of the ‘Tuff Fish’ in poker comedies (see above and below) to circulate the following initiative:

Internet Poker. Statute.

Summary Date: 7/27/07 Circulation Deadline: 12/24/07 Signatures Required: 433,971

Proponent: Anthony Sandstrom

Creates a State-owned Internet poker site. Provides that 90 percent of net revenues be distributed to cities and counties for street repairs and 10 percent of net revenues be allocated to the California Gambling Addiction Program Fund. Allows players age 21 and over to participate. Requires Governor to appoint a Director responsible for the site. Requires that games be similar to prevailing online and live poker room practices. Allows participation from outside the State where not prohibited by law. Authorizes revenue sharing and player base agreements with states, localities and California Indian tribes. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown increase in revenues for (1) cities and counties to use for pothole and street repair and (2) the state to use for gambling addiction assistance programs. This increase could easily be in the tens of millions of dollars annually. Unknown reduction in other tax and gambling-related revenues for the state and local governments. This reduction could offset a significant amount of the net revenues from the state poker site. (Initiative 07-0017.) (Full Text).

It looks like a tough road to ballot qualification since federal law has cast a pale on internet gaming banking transactions and every gambling special interest in California will be opposed.

Flatly opposed were card rooms in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, anti-gambling expansion activists and educators who fear diversion and loss of lottery funds.

“A pox on the initiative,” said Fred Glass, a spokesman for the California Federation of Teachers, whose members depend partially on the flow of funds from state-run lottery gamblers.

The California Online Poker Initiative is here.

Does anyone think Tuff Fish will be able to obtain the necessary signatures?



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