Calif. Poker Bill Unveiled

22 April 2009
IGamingNews has obtained a copy of a highly anticipated bill -- the California Online Poker Law Enforcement Compliance and Consumer Protection Act -- that would see online poker regulated on an intrastate basis in the Golden State.

The bill was submitted to the California Legislative Analyst earlier this year, and is likely to be amended should it pass through the Legislature.

In its current form, the bill instructs the California State Gambling Commission, in conjunction with the state Department of Justice, to draft and adopt regulations for the implementation of an online intrastate poker network.

Key Points

  • Ensures that Internet poker is only offered for play in a manner that is lawful under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, 31 U.S.C. ยงยง 5361 et seq. (UIGEA).

  • Limits licenses to current gaming establishments, licensed by California, as well as to California tribes with compacts

  • Mandates wagering hub -- or hubs -- be located within the state

  • Specifies only poker games already approved for play at land-based, licensed gambling establishments may be offered online

  • Recommends a gross receipts tax structure that mirrors the structure currently imposed on land-based card rooms in California

  • Requires each Internet Web site to have an individual, when opening an account, place a limitation on the amount of funds that may be transferred into that account within a 24-hour period

  • Requires that each Internet Web site provide for withdrawals from the wagering account only by check, made payable to the account holder and sent to the address of the accountholder, or by an electronic transfer to the same financial account from which the verified accountholder is authorized make deposits into a wagering account

    To view a copy of the bill in full, click here.

    More on this story as it develops.

  • Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.