Draft of California online poker bill leaked

28 April 2009

As has been rumored for months, California is once again considering whether or not to introduce legislation that would regulate online poker in the Golden State. But the big mystery right now who is doing the considering.

A piece of draft legislation dated Jan. 15, 2009 and first obtained and posted by IGamingNews, has been circulating around the Internet for a few days.

The carefully drafted legislation details how online poker should be regulated in California. But according to sources with knowledge of the situation, who is actually going to sponsor this legislation is unknown. Democrat Lloyd Levine, who championed the cause last year, is no longer in the California Assembly because of term limits.

The proposed regulatory framework sets up nicely for well-established card rooms like the Bicycle Casino (The Bike) and the Commerce Casino.

In the draft legislation, only "current gaming establishments licensed by the state of California and California tribes with gaming compacts" would be allowed to apply for a California license to offer online poker. It also requires that the "Wagering Hubs," which appear to be a reference to servers, be located in California as well.

Play would be restricted to residents of California with sites required to use an independent third-party service to verify residency and age requirements. The bill sets the gambling age at 21.

The proposal also requires that withdrawals from player accounts be restricted to checks and electronic transfers.

Vin Narayanan

Articles by Vin Narayanan is the former managing editor at Casino City and has been involved in the gaming industry for over a decade Vin is currently based in Hong Kong, where he runs his own consultant group and works as head of gaming and public relations for Mega Digital Entertainment Group.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.