The following is a statement released by the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians following an informational hearing in front of the joint Assembly / Senate Governmental Organization Committee. Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians Praises Legislature Following Joint Internet Poker Hearing Council member Gonzalez Commends Assemblyman Adam Gray and Senator Isadore Hall for Efforts SACRAMENTO – Rincon […]
This week’s online poker hearing in California was fairly light on the topic of legalizing CA online poker, but highlighted the gridlock facing the process.
PokerStars is sending two of its biggest stars — Daniel Negreanu and Jason Somerville — to California to help lobby for regulated online poker.
Featured California Online Poker Stories
Introduced by Mike Gatto, AB 9 is the first bill introduced in the 2015 legislative year to legalize online poker in California.
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
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.
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 tax rate and 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.