This week saw a new bill that is looking to regulate Online Poker in the state of California. This time around sees a group of eight Indian tribes in the Golden State attempt to influence the lawmakers. The bill is limited to online poker and would mean that California would have to abstain from any federal legislation that may possibly be enacted in the future as well as excluding the possibility of interstate and international compacts. The Internet Poker Consumers Protection Act 2013 also mentions a bad actor clause that would rule out any companies from doing business in the state that offered online wagers to residents of California at anytime before the bill may be enacted and would block them permanently.
This is the third bill that has been introduced this year and each attempt has failed to create an agreement between all stakeholders, mainly on issues relating to how the funds created would be divided, and many believe that this attempt will also fail. The only pressure upon California to legislate online poker may be due to the fact that neighboring Nevada has already begun offering it to its residents and although it has not gone as smoothly as planned, there are high hopes for it. With only one poker room open in Nevada at present, this is being seen by many as a field test and there are plenty of already licensed operators waiting in the wings to improve on the offering. Licenses in California may also cause a little debate as the bill states that they may only be awarded to tribal governments and existing cardrooms that would need to have been in business for at least five years and a common launch date for all license holders has been set at January 1 2015, should that in fact be needed.
Many Californian poker players already play online poker at the many offshore poker rooms available such as BetOnline Poker. Should the state never get to the regulation stage then at least players still have option.