With Stakeholders Still At Odds, California Legislature Running Out Of Time For Online Poker

California online poker time short
By Steve Ruddock

August 24, 2015

The clock is ticking loudly as the chance of California passing online poker legislation in 2015 dwindles, with stakeholders unlikely to reach consensus.

If You Can’t Join ‘Em, Beat ‘Em: Stakeholders Plan California Online Poker Push

By Steve Ruddock

August 5, 2015

With California online poker legislation still at a standstill, proponents of regulation are prepared to attempt an end run around the Pechanga coalition.

What Does The Sale Of bwin To 888 Mean For California?

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August 4, 2015

It was recently announced that 888 will buy bwin.party. If the sale moves forward as expected, what will it mean for the California online poker market?

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.

    Help bring Online Poker to California

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    There will be a hearing on April 27, 2015 where California legislators will vote on California Online Poker Bill AB431. It’s important to let them know before the vote that you support legal online poker in California. Sign, Tweet, Share #AllinCA.