Online Poker Bill in California Facing New Amendments
An online poker bill that would make playing poker online legal in California has hit a snag.
Online Poker Bill
Per reports, the bill, AB2863, officially passed by a vote of 18-0 by the California Assembly Governmental Organization last April, but is now facing new amendments.
— Gambling Magazine (@GamblingMag) June 8, 2016
Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced the bill, which is California’s latest online poker proposal, back in February of this year.
California gaming attorney David Fried proposed the new amendments, which put a halt to the approved online poker bill for the time being. Fried’s amendments are aimed at clarifying provisions not usually dealt with in the initial bill, specifically referring to tax rates, license fees and what is referred to as a “bad actor” clause.
Per the “bad actor” clause, any operator that has accepted online wagers after December of 2011 from US-based customers would not be able to get a license and operate in the state of California. In other words, online poker sites that have thrown caution to the wind and have continued business as usual in California could get burned.
Despite that being the case, the new amendments would still allow other operators – specifically PokerStars – that properly exited the market prior to December of 2011, to apply again for a license in California.
The proposed alterations also make statements on an increase license fee, operate tax rates and even emphasizes that the bill covers just legal online poker, and not just any casino type games.
Likely to Pass
The good news is the vote to pass the initial online poker bill in California was already approved by unanimous vote, and the new amendments only aim to reward online poker companies that have done right by the gaming industry and intend to follow all tax and license laws.
An Assembly hearing is expected to look over the final version of AB 2863 with the new amendments later in June and is fully expected to be passed.
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