In the state of California, an online poker bill has been created by lawmaker Mike Gatto which would create online poker gaming options but with several stipulations. The inclusion of the bad actor clause has already caused many interested parties to be critical of the bill but an additional stipulation that is unique to the measure has many concerned about the bill.
The stipulation that has everyone concerned is the requirement that players must register for online gaming in person and make initial deposits in person as well. The main benefit of playing online poker is to be able to do so in the comfort of your home. With this stipulation, players will have to visit a land based casino to get started, which may hurt the online poker industry if the bill is passed.
The argument is that the extra step is not a standard in the poker industry and has many questioning Gatto’s reasoning behind adding the requirement to his legislation. The lawmaker took to the utsandiego site to explain the bill and give a specific explanation as to how he feels the bill will supplement the brick-and-mortar businesses of the state.
Gatto feels as though the best practices for the online poker industry would be to involve brick-and-mortar businesses and take a note from established business practices. Gatto compares opening an online poker account in person to opening a bank account. You must present yourself and identification for validation.
With Gatto’s proposal, existing gaming sites that meet qualifications will be able to serve as the initial validators, even if they do not operate online poker gaming websites. The brick-and-mortar venues would have to meet strict security criteria to be able to operate in this manner. The initial deposit would take place in person and the subsequent deposits could take place online. There would be a similar rule in place for cashing out within certain monetary amounts or frequency of cashouts.
Gatto feels as though this restriction will help to deter minors from accessing the gaming sites. The lawmaker stated that this option would reduce the likelihood that a minor would be accepted into the system. Potential money-launderers would be weeded out and brick-and-mortar locations would be able to profit from online poker, even if they are too small to open an online poker site, according to Gatto. For now the bill is up against opposition, so it will be interesting to watch what happens with the legislation and if online poker will come to fruition in the state of California.
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