New Online Poker Bill Introduced in California
Rushing to meet the deadline that was last Friday, California State Senator Lou Correa introduced a bill there that deals with the issue of online poker. The bill, which is what is known as a spot bill or a placeholder bill, is essentially a very short piece of legislation.
In this case, it leaves the work of establishing the parameters of the law to the California Gambling Control Commission, which will be tasked with fleshing out the regulations for the California poker market.
Senator Correa has been pushing for regulation in the Golden State since back in 2011. His proposal comes on the heels of another poker bill in the state, which was submitted in December of last year by State Senator Roderick Wright.
Both pieces of legislation would limit Internet-based wagering in California to poker only. The Correa bill is said to have some tribal support, however given the fact that in the state of California, there is not a great deal of tribal unity, some tribes may support the legislation while others may yet come out in opposition.
California’s neighbor to the east, Nevada, passed similar legislation, also limited strictly to poker to the exclusion of other forms on Internet betting. The law passed in Delaware as well as the one that is expected to be signed into law as soon as today or tomorrow in New Jersey are broader in scope and will permit certain other forms of online wagering. It is supposed that, should federal regulation come to pass, it too will be restricted to online poker, as there has typically been little political support at the national level for other types of online casino games.
It goes without saying that California stands in a position to be an incredibly important sector of the poker market should regulation be green-lighted. It is the most populous state in the nation, with nearly 40 million people calling it home. Gambling is already an important, and lucrative, part of California’s culture, with poker rooms, casinos, racetracks, and Indian casinos dotted the state’s picturesque landscape.
Many see a transition to online poker to be a natural next step for California, a state that is home to many of the world’s most prestigious technology and gaming firms. Many of those companies are now preparing to enter the emerging online gambling market in the United States, including major players like Zynga, whose stock was up last week on the word that Nevada’s Governor, Brian Sandoval, had signed that state’s poker bill.
As games are expected to roll out later this year in Nevada and other states, whether or not Californians will eventually able to access those games remains to be seen, though certainly many eyes will be watching the process unfold.
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