California SB 51 Online Poker Bill Details

California State Senator Roderick Wright introduced SB 51 on December 19, 2012. The bill could be heard as soon as January 19, 2013.  SB 51 would legalize online poker within California.  No other casino games would be regulated or legalized by this bill.

SB 51 would generate as much as $200 million in tax revenue in its first year according to Senator Wright.  This is due to an expensive licensing process that would require operators to pay as much as $5 million just to pass a background check.  Licensed companies would be required to make a $30 million deposit to the state before launching California online poker.

The bill would allow card clubs, tribal casinos, racetracks and offtrack betting processors to receive a license.  The bill requires all companies and employees to be based in California.  Only California residents could play on the sites unless the state approves expansion into other states or the federal government approves networking with international player pools.

Online poker rooms that accepted players from the U.S. after December 31, 2006 would be banned from the regulated California poker market.  No form of these companies would be able to enter the market.  The software and brand names would be banned, even if they were operated by an approved California company.

There are many player safeguards that will make California poker players happy.  These include strict cheating laws and requirements that player deposits be held in segregated bank accounts.  Problem gamblers would have several ways to opt out and players that are concerned about the amount of time they might spend playing will find several features to help them stay disciplined.

We broke down the entire bill and have reported on the details of SB 51.

California Online Poker SB 51 Bill Details