California Assembly Committee Prepares for Gaming Hearing January 6th

CaliforniaOn January 6th, the California Governmental Oversight Committee will be holding a hearing to discuss several gaming measures for the state. Bills will be discussed that cover online poker, sports betting and daily fantasy sports as the New Year begins.

AB 167 will be on the agenda, a bill that would allow for the legalization and regulation of online poker in California.  The bill is sponsored by Reginald Jones-Sawyer, an Assemblyman of the state, with the measure being the first on the agenda.

The measure proposed by Jones-Sawyer was one of three bills proposed in regards to online poker for the state that seemed to make no headway in 2015. With AB 167, it is believed that this measure is the one that has the most chances of being successful in bringing together the stakeholders of the state to an agreement for online poker gaming.

The bill includes race tracks being able to offer online poker gaming as well as no bad actor clause in legislation. This means that PokerStars would be allowed to operate in the state, having already partnered with tribal gaming operators and certain card rooms in the state.

The race tracks and bad actor clause have been the major points of contention for the state to be able to offer online poker gaming. Lawmakers and Indian tribes are divided, with some okay with race tracks and PokerStars while others do not want either to participate.

Also to be discussed during the hearing is AB 1437, a measure proposed by Adam Gray, the Chairman of the Committee. This bill would cover fantasy sports betting and was introduced back in September. With the bill, the state would have regulations put in place to give oversight to the DFS industry as well as put in place licensing fees and taxes on the revenues of the industry.

Gray also introduced AB 1441, a bill in regards to sports betting in the state. The bill would allow for sports betting to take place in the state but even if the bill passed, more would have to be done as federal legislation allows only four states to offer sports betting based on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

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