California Online Poker Lawmaker To Join Lobbying Firm

Darrell SteinbergVeteran California lawmaker and online poker proponent Darrell Steinberg has stepped down as the leader of the State Senate and announced plans join the lobbying firm of Greenberg Traurig.

Steinberg co-authored Internet poker Bill SB1463 with the now disgraced State Sen. Rodrick Wright. The bill aimed to legalize intrastate Internet poker, with the option of adding additional games after a two-year period. The legislators hoped to raise around $200m in licensing fees, but could not bring the state’s gambling interests to a consensus on the bill’s language.

Steinberg will begin work at Greenberg Traurig on December 1, one day after he leaves office, and will become the firm’s chairman of California Government Law and Policy Practice. According to state law, however, the senator will not be allowed to lobby state officials for a period of one year after stepping down from his government post.

Our clients want the deep understanding of state and local governance that Senator Steinberg will bring after decades of public service, including the last several years at the focal point of California government,” said Richard Rosenbaum, the firm’s chief executive officer.

A history of pro gambling lobbying

According to a press release, Greenberg Traurig has lobbied on the behalf of 40 clients, including the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) and casino operator Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians. The PPA is itself an advocacy groups that fights for laws favorable to poker players.

“I am proud of my years of public service and excited about the opportunity to join Greenberg Traurig,” said Steinberg in a statement. “Whatever my role, I have always been committed to make California a better place for everyone.”