California Introduces New Online Poker Bill

With online poker soon to become a reality in a number of individual states, such as New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, legislators in California are pushing for changes to their own law books that they are not left too far behind in the race.

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Senator Lou Correa of California has become the latest politician to try his luck and begin the process of pushing for online poker regulation in the Golden State. Correa introduced Authorization and Regulation of Internet Poker and Consumer Protection Act of 2013, better known as SB 678, on Friday, and is hoping that the bill will have better luck than those introduced before it.

Senator Correa has minced no words in the writing of the bill.  All it asks for is to grant the California Gambling Control Commission permission to establish licensing and regulation procedures for online poker sites that will be set up within the state’s borders.   The bill does not elaborate with details on how these regulatory and licensing frameworks could or should be set up; rather it passes the power and decisions onto gambling commission.

Another bill is currently in the pipelines, and is awaiting a vote in the Senate Government Organizational Committee.  If SB 51, introduced by Senator Roderick Wright gets a two thirds vote, it will immediately become law.  SB 51 (Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2013)  is 25 times bigger in size than SB 678 and goes into concise detail as to how new online poker regulation in California should look.  The bill calls for successful licensees to pay a one time fee of $30 million for an operations license that will cover a period of 5 years.

California could be a worthy partner with other states to form interstate partnerships, as it is one of the most populous states in the US and has a very large poker player population.

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