Pechanga Opposed to AB 167

By John Mehaffey

Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer introduced AB 167, a bill that seeks the legalization and regulation of online poker in California.  The Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro released a statement tonight on the bill, announcing the tribe’s opposition to AB 167. AB 167 would permit the licensing of card clubs, tribes, and racetracks for the purpose of […]

New “Compromise” California Online Poker Bill Introduced

By Steve Ruddock

*Author’s note: The following comments are my first reactions to a quick reading of the new 83-page online poker bill. California Assemblyman Mike Gatto already introduced an online poker bill back in December, but the Gatto bill, AB 9, while innovative in certain respects, did little to address the two main problems hindering online poker expansion […]

California Online Poker Bill AB 9 Amendments Proposed

By John Mehaffey

Assemblyman Mike Gatto has proposed amending AB 9, a bill that would legalize and regulate online poker in California.  These potential changes resulted from meeting with technology, security, and online commerce experts over the past two months, according to a press release issued today. “My goal remains creating a sensible framework for a new California […]

Featured California Online Poker Stories

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    By Brian Mickers

    Is Online Poker Legal in California 2015

    Are you interested in playing online poker in California but want to know the legality of online gaming?

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    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.

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    By John Mehaffey

    AB 2291 Online Poker Bill

    Introduced by State Rep. Reggie Jones-Sawyer, California AB 2291 is favored by Indian tribes and would legalize online poker for tribes & cardrooms. is your source for news and information on California legislation that would legalize online poker for California residents.

In February 2014, two online poker bills were announced.  SB 1366 would allow online poker only.  It includes 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 is a similar bill.  One difference is that the bad actor clause was left open for future debate.

These bills have not received a committee hearing or any specific discussion.  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.

Five 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.

California is currently struggling with massive debt and legalizing online poker would allow the state to potentially make more then 1 billion dollars over the next decade and create over 1,000 new jobs.