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Internet Poker in California is Good Public Policy

Internet Poker in California is Good Public Policy

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Internet Poker is a fast-growing, global industry. The U.S. represents the largest percentage of Internet poker players worldwide, and California is estimated to have more than one million online players.
Internet Poker is a fast-growing, global industry. The U.S. represents the largest percentage of Internet poker players worldwide, and California is estimated to have more than one million online players.

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: pokerplayersalliance on Mar 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Internet Poker in California is Good Public Policy
Internet Poker is a fast-growing, global industry
 
The U.S. represents the largest percentage of Internet poker players worldwide,
andCalifornia is estimated to have more than one million online players.
 
Within the U.S., states are quickly seeking to benefit from a regulated online gamblingindustry.
New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have already passed legislation and willbe accepting online play later this year.
More and more states are recognizing thebenefits and proposing their own intrastate laws including, Illinois, Massachusetts andIowa.
 
 
California should fully capture the potential of the Internet poker market, and it mustnot limit itself to INTRA-state play.
By its nature, Internet poker is a global marketplaceand at a minimum California should seek to engage other states in compacts orreciprocal agreements.
New Jersey and Nevada laws already allow this, and New
Jersey’s law lays a foundation for international play.
 
 
These types of cross border agreements do not violate federal law.
In December 2011,the U.S. Department of Justice released its opinion that only Internet sports betting wasin violation of the Wire Act
 
[18 USC § 1084], thus opening the door for INTER-stateoperations for Internet poker and other types of casino games.
 California has an obligation to create a safe and regulated market
 
While the largest Internet poker companies have been forced out of the U.S. market,there are
still thousands of Californians who play on unlicensed, unregulated andunsafe websites.
Unfortunately, consumers are left vulnerable since the federalgovernment has failed to exercise oversight and control of Internet gaming.
 
Now is the time for California to step up and protect its own citizens.
Th
e state’s
consumers who play Internet poker will benefit greatly from the protections regulationcan provide. Moreover, licensing and regulation will help guarantee the proper
safeguards for California’s most vulnerable populations through:
o
 
Thorough vetting of potential licensees
o
 
Mandatory implementation of technologies to protect against underagegambling and to monitor and detect individuals with excessive gaming habits
o
 
High standards to thwart fraud and abuse of customers
 
o
 
Regulation to prevent money laundering
o
 
Segregated accounts to protect player deposits
 
The PPA has over 100,000 members who reside in California
, many of whom have sentletters, placed phone calls and sent tweets to the Governor urging his support of a fair,regulated environment to play online poker in the state.
 
In an age where the Internet has become such an integral part of our daily lives, wemust
uphold the personal freedoms of California residents to play the game
they enjoyin any format they prefer.
Regulation will provide significant economic benefits for the state
 
Given the potential size of the California online poker market, the state stands to gain asignificant new revenue stream. This could mean
hundreds of millions of dollars in newrevenue annually without raising taxes!
 
Establishing California as a national (and perhaps global) leader for Internet poker willalso create thousands of high paying, high-tech jobs for the state of California.
Thestate already has a deep commitment to Internet innovation. Regulated Internet pokerwould produce a new avenue for research, investment and California-led innovation forthis burgeoning industry.
 
California’s population base and history as a strong gaming regulator
uniquely positionsthe state to lead this innovative new industry and help run the operations for otherstates that will want to adopt similar structures moving forward.
These INTER-stateagreements will create even more revenue for California.
 
California regulation must foster competition and be consumer, not business, driven
 
The recent Internet poker debate in California has been dominated by how business willbenefit from the new marketplace. Profitability and a pro-business environment areimportant, however, this can only be achieved in a consumer-friendly market.
 
Ultimately, the end user (the poker player) will decide the future success or failure of Internet poker in California and the state must
foster a competitive market thatprovides the consumer choice and incentives to attract customers.
 
We support low taxes for operators.
Tax on revenue should be based on adjusted grossrevenue, after deducting jackpot payouts, player bonuses and other player incentives.Fair and equitable tax rates will reduce the pressure for operators to pass on these costsi
n the form of “fees” or “rake” to the consumer. Reasonable taxes will increaseprofitability, and therefore increase the state’s taxable base.
 
We also support a reasonable advanced deposit license fee
that will reduce the barrierto entry and allow more companies to have access to the market.
 
This will helpencourage small, yet innovative start-up companies to invest and compete in themarket.
 

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