California Online Poker Heads for Assembly Vote

California-PokerThe California Assembly Appropriations Committee passed a bill regulating online poker in the state on Wednesday, sending it to the full chamber for a possible vote.The committee approved AB 2863 on Wednesday.

A vote had been scheduled to take place last week, but that was delayed as amendments were added to the bill. The amendments that were floated last week were inserted to the bill this week, and included:

  • A “bad actor” clause that excludes 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. (Previously, the amendment’s line for bad actors was drawn in 2011.)
  • The use of accrued assets — such as player lists — from such operators would be 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 gaming revenues.

The committee expressed a common refrain that we heard in 2015, and earlier this year when the bill passed the Governmental Organization Committee this spring: The bill has been the product of a lot of effort by bill sponsor Adam Gray, but it needs more work.

More at Online Poker Report

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