New Online Poker Bill Introduced In California

CaliforniaAs the year comes to an end, the state of California seems to be seeing moves made to get rolling on online poker, even if there is only a few weeks left in 2014. According to a recent report at Calvinayre, Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto has introduced a new bill known as AB 9, with the title: Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015.

The new bill seems to be a variation of the legislation that was drafted earlier this year by the coalition of Indian tribes of the state. AB 9 would allow the Indian tribes of California, those that are recognized federally, to apply to offer online poker gaming by receiving a license to operate. Racetracks however would not be involved in the process. The bill reads that the interests of the state would be best met by providing licenses to those who have experience operating card rooms or tribal gaming facilities that currently offer real money gaming in a live setting.

Also included in the bill is a ‘bad actors’ clause which would keep PokerStars from operating in the state. Basically anyone who operated online poker gaming or was knowingly involved after December 31st 2006, after the UIGEA was created, are not allowed licensing. Essentially, this new bill has the same issues that previous attempts had, leaving out the racetracks and putting in a bad actors clause. Arguments of both factors have led to the state not passing legislation in the past.

Also in the mix is the language that licensing for any tribe that accepts wagers within the state that is not physically present on Indian lands when the bets are made will not be allowed. This would apply to the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel who just launched an online bingo site which is currently under fire and may be shut down, as the Attorney General is attempting to do so.

Gatto has introduced the bill with an urgency statute which will require 2/3 of approval votes from both legislative chambers before being able to move forward. According to CalvinAyre, the bill has been referred to the Appropriation and Fiscal Committees.


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