Third Online Poker Bill In California Comes Forward
Handful Of Tribes To Start Pushing Their Own Measure
A new online poker bill has been crafted in the state of California, one that would allow well-established card rooms and tribal casinos in the Golden State to win a license.
The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2013, like its name says, would only legalize poker, and not other forms of casino gambling. In doing so, California would aim to join up with other jurisdictions to create greater liquidity. Not that California necessarily needs it, as the state has more than 37 million people.
In the new draft, horse racing groups would not be eligible for online poker.
A so-called “bad actor” clause in the measure would make it so that any online firm which offered online gambling to Californians in the past would be barred from ever entering the Golden State market, which is truly the crown jewel of the overall United States market. Card rooms and tribal casinos could partner with business-to-business technology providers that reside outside of California, such as a Cantor Gaming from Nevada.
The bad actor clause would mean no PokerStars.
Like Nevada, California’s online poker system would be for anyone within the state’s borders.
The bill was created by eight of the state’s tribal groups, as two other initiatives currently are floating around in the legislature. Many efforts to legalize web poker in the past have failed, so it’s unclear if this one will find any traction. A bill has never been to the California governor’s desk.
Last year, a group called the California Online Poker Association folded amidst disagreement between members. Bills have failed in the past because all the interested gaming parties in the state just can’t come to a consensus, and most don’t want outside firms to be able to get a piece of the pie.
In February, Sen. Lou Correa, a familiar name on the Internet gambling battle front, introduced Senate Bill No.678, which would OK state-approved sites to take bets from within California’s borders. Sen. Rod Wright unveiled his proposal, Senate Bill No.51, in mid-December.
So, altogether, there are three attempts at online poker legalization this year — two being pushed by state senators and one to be introduced by the tribes.
California is trying to catch up with Nevada, which kicked off its online poker industry last month.
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