With Online Poker Stalled In California, Tribes Turn To Social Casinos

California tribes social gambling
By Steve Ruddock

February 8, 2016

The continued stasis regarding the legalization of online poker in California has led the state’s tribes to look to bolster their casinos via social gaming.

Online Poker Bills Down But Not Quite Out in California

By Steve Ruddock

February 4, 2016

Time is short for the issue of online poker regulation in CA this year, as all four of last year’s bills have officially died. But they can be resurrected.

California Assembly Passes DFS Bill; Online Poker Supporters Cry Foul

By Steve Ruddock

January 27, 2016

The swift passage of a daily fantasy sports bill in the California assembly has supporters of legalizing online poker in CA marveling at the alacrity.

Featured California Online Poker Stories

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    By John Mehaffey

    AB 431 Online Poker Bill

    Introduced by Adam Gray (who chairs the Assembly GO Committee) AB 431 is a "shell" bill that contains little in the way of concrete details.

  • image description
    By John Mehaffey

    AB 9 Online Poker Bill

    Introduced by Mike Gatto, AB 9 is the first bill introduced in the 2015 legislative year to legalize online poker in California.

  • image description
    By John Mehaffey

    AB 167 Online Poker Bill

    Introduced by State Rep. Reggie Jones-Sawyer, California AB 167 contains no bad actor clause and leaves licensing open to tracks, tribes and card rooms.

  • CaliforniaOnlinePoker.com is your source for news and information on California legislation that would legalize online poker for California residents.

    California online poker: Background

    2015

    In many ways, 2015 is similar to the story of 2014, with the notable difference that political attention to the issue of online poker began earlier in the year and appears to have greater force behind it.

    There are currently two primary competing visions for online poker in California – AB 9 and AB 167 – both of which sit with the Governmental Organization Committee in the Assembly.

    There is an additional legislative vehicle for online poker in the Assembly: AB 431, sponsored by Assemblyman Adam Gray and co-authored by State Sen. Isadore Hall. AB 431 is currently a “shell” bill, meaning it contains little in the way of actual details or language.

    You can read more about and track each bill using California’s online legislative information system.

    As in past years, the key divisions revolve around who is eligible for licensure as an online poker operator.

    2014

    In February 2014, two online poker bills were announced.  SB 1366 would allow online poker only.  It included a bad actor clause that would forbid any company from operating in the state if it took action from U.S. players after December 31, 2006.

    AB 2291 was a similar bill.  One difference is that the bad actor clause was left open for future debate.

    On April 23, 2014, the California Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization held a hearing to discuss online poker.  Topics included the history of online poker in the U.S., testimony from executives involved in the regulated industry, as well as views from tribal and commercial gaming companies.

    The hearing appeared to be a positive for the online poker industry.  One opponent of gambling in general was cut off from his speech.  Andy Abboud, VP of Government Affairs for Las Vegas Sands, had his company’s motives questioned by the committee.  All members of the committee that spoke appeared to be educated about the online poker industry.

    Prior to 2014

    Online poker has been an issue in California for nearly a decade at this point. The state has seen numerous bills prior to the handful currently circulating in Sacramento.

    Six bills in the past had been introduced but failed to pass in the California Legislature.  Those bills were the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2013, SB 51, SB 678, SB 1463, SB 40 and SB 45. These bills would have  legalized, regulated and taxed online poker in California.

    Is online poker legal in California? Read more about that complex question in this feature article.