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California Introduces New Online Poker Bill

A new bill has been introduced to the California's House Assembly which would legalize online poker in the Golden State.

The bill is titled AB167 and was introduced by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, and is similar to previous attempts which have all failed.

AB167 spells out licensed poker rooms, horse racing associations and tribal gaming facilities to be licensed in the state. Licenses will run $10 million, and an 8.5% tax on GGR will be made every quarter to the state.

Other stipulations of the bill include:

  • The duration of a licenses will be 4 years;

  • There will be as yet unspecified annual and application fees;

  • Licensed operators can offer online poker on two websites under a single licence;

  • Regulations governing operators must be promulgated within 270 days of passage;

  • The bill is to be regarded as an urgency statute, requiring a two thirds vote for passage;

  • Players must be aged 21 years or more;

  • Interstate player pooling compacts are not expressly prohibited;

  • It includes provision for an Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Fund to finance enforcement actions against unlicensed operators.

Commenting on the bill's introduction, Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer said, The reintroduction of this legislation comes on the heels of a very thoughtful and collaborative discussion process that included substantial input from both the state’s Department of Justice and Gambling Control Commission. It is absolutely essential that we have a proper regulatory structure in place that provides safe and compliant internet poker access.”

“We have reached a new starting point. The dialogue over the past year has allowed us to reach even broader consensus and mutual agreement as to who will be able to participate in providing internet poker to our citizens. My goal of setting a standard in California that is the shining example for the entire nation remains unchanged."

Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.

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