It was just a short time ago that Mike Gatto, a State Assemblyman of California, introduced a new online poker bill titled The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015, also known as AB 9. Gatto is the main sponsor and author of the bill and still has hopes that the measure will gain traction before year’s end. However, there are still those who feel that Gatto’s bill does not meet what is needed with online gaming within the state. The Amaya Gaming group as well as their card room and tribal partners are set to meet with Gatto and discuss what they feel should be included as well as left out of the iGaming legislation.
According to a report at OnlinePokerReport, Gatto stated in a recent interview that he believes before December is complete, the Amaya coalition will meet with him to discuss their vision for an online poker bill. Gatto is open for discussion and seems to want to work out the details with interested and invested parties such as the Amaya Gaming group.
The main problem behind the bill, as with others, is the addition of the bad actor clause. This clause could leave PokerStars out of the iGaming market in California after the group has already made partnerships in preparation of legislation and regulation within the state. The coalition has stated they believe that the bad actor clause provides ‘artificial competitive advantages’.
A provision has been added to the bill which would provide a way for PokerStars to work with their coalition partners which includes the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Bicycle Casino, Hawaiian Gardens Casino and the Commerce Club. The bill currently allows for the Gambling Control Commission of the state to use discretion to be able to determine the suitability of interested parties who have purchased assets that were offered for gambling purposes in the United States after the 31st of December 2006.
Gatto has stressed that the bill is only an opening statement or starting point and is open to discussion. The Assemblyman states that bill can change and should change quite a bit as the process progresses. It will be interesting to see what can come of the meetings between the bill’s creator and the Amaya Coalition.
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