SB 278 – California Online Poker Bill

California SB 278 is a bill that would legalize and regulate online poker in the state.  The bill was introduced by State Senator Isadore Hall.  Sen. Hall is the chairman of the Senate Committee of Governmental Organization.  This committee debates matters related to gaming in California, among other issues.

The language of the bill does not include details about how online poker would be regulated in California.  There is no mention of a bad actor clause or what entities would be eligible for California online poker.

A companion bill was submitted in the California Assembly.  It was introduced by Assemblyman Adam Gray.  Gray is the chairman of the Assembly Committee of Governmental Organization.  The Assembly bill is AB 431.

Both bills are thought to be placeholders for a later committee debate.  The bills must be held for 30 days before there can be a hearing.  This would place the timing of the first potential committee hearing in late March 2015.

Two other bills that would regulate online poker were previously introduced in the California Legislature. Those bills are AB 167, introduced by California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, and AB 9, introduced by California Assemblyman Mike Gatto.