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Two Online Poker Bills Introduced in California Near Deadline

March 1st, 2014 by Site Admin

Friday was the last day for California lawmakers to introduce new bills. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians both unexpectedly introduced online poker bills on that deadline. This means that the state has a chance to legalize online poker this year.

The bill that was introduced by the San Manuel tribe will need a lawmaker to sponsor it. The bill is very similar to a bill that Senator Lou Correa introduced exactly one year earlier. Several experts in the gaming industry predict that Correa will sponsor the new bill as well.

Sawyer’s bill has gained the support of nearly ten different tribes throughout the state. His bill is probably more likely to pass, because it clearly wasn’t written in favor of a single tribe.

The State Assembly wrote a letter to the tribes to discuss the new bill. They said that the bill is very similar to a bill that was introduced last year. However, Sawyer said that he is committed to striking a compromise with the tribes. He said that he intentionally left some of the sections empty so that the tribes could continue to discuss the best solution. The bad actors clause is one of the sections that will be need to be expanded on in the future.

Sawyer’s bill sets a clear framework to regulate online poker. Online poker providers would need to pay $5 million to operate in California. Their nontransferable licenses would allow them to offer online poker for ten years. The new bill also calls for a special fund that would allow the state’s gaming regulators to shut down any sites that illegally offer online poker to California residents.

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