hits counter

Will Online Poker Soon be Legal in California?

AB 2863 – The bill to legalize poker in California recently passed committee which means we could see it come up for a public vote in the near future. This is good news for advocates who are hoping to bring back the popularity of online poker in the US who see this as a major win. If the bill passes California could be the fourth state in the US to legalize online poker. Let’s take a look at what this means for poker players…

california legal online poker

There are some major incentives for California to pass the AB 2863. Under the Internet Poker Bill applicants would have to make a one-time $12.5 million deposit, and the state would tax their revenues. The state would keep some of the tax money and much of it would be given to the horse racing industry and fairs to bolster declining activity. Essentially compensating them for not seeking internet poker licenses.

Opponents of the bill have described PokerStars and similar brand leaders as “bad actors” who would have an advantage because they already have huge lists of California poker players who want to play from the times they operated in the “grey area” of legalization. Nonetheless the advancement of AB 2863 (The Internet Poker Bill) means we could soon witness the legalization of internet poker in the state of California.

Currently AB 2863 has several amendments including:

  • A “bad actor” clause excluding online poker operators that accepted California players after the passage of the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Sites that did so could pay an added $20 million fee or wait five years to apply for licensure.
  • The use of accrued assets like player lists from operators limited by regulators.
  • Ten percent of all gaming revenue collected by the state would go to the state’s General Fund, regardless of whether a $60 million threshold for a subsidy to the horse racing industry is reached.
  • Half of the $12.5 million deposit paid by licensees would be offset by reduced taxes on gambling.

Should AB 2863 pass: California will join New Jersey, Las Vegas and Delaware as a Legal state for players wishing to engage in internet poker.  But the bill still has a few major hurdles to overcome before we will see that happen. For one the Governor Jerry Brown has to sign off on it and that’s only if it passes both the state House and Senate. And second lobbyists for tribal casinos are adamantly against the competition.

Gaming and online poker organizations seeking legitimacy also have their own deep pockets and team of lobbyist to push their side. They claim the tribal casinos are enjoying a monopoly on gambling that prevents the state from making tax revenues and drives players to spend money in other areas.

Whether you support online poker or not there is no denying it’s a very lucrative industry. States like California that already have a large player base from their 70+ tribal casinos could benefit immensely from players who would opt to play from anywhere, anytime, from the convenience of their laptop computers.

July 1, 2016 by : posted in Poker Tips No Comments

Leave a Reply