California State Rep. Lou Correa has, once again, introduced a bill that would legalize online poker, to be played for money, in the State of California. While another online poker bill was introduced in the California Senate in December of 2012, California’s most promising prior legislative foray into legalized online gaming (a bill referred to as the Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2010) was defeated due to powerful competing interests that have different viewpoints on key aspects of what a final bill would entail. These interests include horse racing facilities and Native American tribes – entities that already have a stake in California’s legal gambling regime.
Even if passed, the current bill would require that California Gambling Control Commission establish regulations governing the licensing and operation of online poker websites within the State. Nevertheless, the California bill will be debated against a backdrop of increased legislative activity in this arena, with Nevada and Delaware having already legalized online poker/gaming, New Jersey close behind and proposals coming to the floor in Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi and Pennsylvania, respectively.
The legislative process in California will be worth monitoring by all gaming attorneys, as well as those interested in Internet poker law in general.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic or pursuing a gaming venture, please feel free to contact us.