Two bills that aim to legalize and regulate online poker in the state of California have been introduced to the state's legislature, beating a deadline for bill submissions for the year.
The two bills, SB1366 and AB2291 were submitted as urgent to California's Assembly and Senate, and would legalize, license, and tax online poker in the Golden State. If legalized, online poker would be legal to the largest state in the United States of America.
AB2291 was introduced by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, and would legalize the game and is considered to be heavily supported among the state's Indian tribes and card rooms. The bill would also restrict compacts between California and other states with legalized betting.
AB2291 would require a license fee of $5 million for operators, which would last 10 years and not be transferrable. There would also be a 5% tax on Gross Gaming Revenues, which will be credited until that $5 million fee is run down. The operators would then pay 5% into the state afterward.
Additionally, the bill would outlaw internet betting sweepstakes cafes, and would impose heavy fines.
SB1366 is an updated version of Senator Lou Correa's previous online poker bills, and is dubbed the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2014. The most notable aspect of this bill is that the bill would ban online betting firms who offered Californians online poker action after the UIGEA was passed in 2006. The bill would also legalize online betting compacts with other states.
SB1366 also appears to have support among the state's Indian tribes.
Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.