PokerStars Trapped In A “When Not If” Groundhog Day Scenario

PokerStars California when not if
By Steve Ruddock

September 25, 2015

When not if has become a frequent battle cry when it comes to regulated online gambling in the United States, and now PokerStars is using the phrase on CA.

Adam Gray Shifts Focus From Poker To DFS, Sports Betting With 2 New Bills

By Steve Ruddock

September 15, 2015

Two bills addressing DFS and sports betting were introduced in the 11th hour of the California legislative session. Assemblyman Adam Gray is the sponsor.

Eighth Time Is Not A Charm As Online Poker Is DOA In CA Once Again

By Steve Ruddock

September 14, 2015

Despite a bill passing the GO Committee for the first time, efforts to legalize California online poker are dead for 2015, the 8th such failure for poker.

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.

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

    California online poker: Background


    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.


    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.