California Online Poker Bill Advances to Next Legislative Step

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Positive signs for iPoker in California

It's still far from out of the woods and into law, but a bill to legalize and regulate online poker in California has made it through an important governmental hoop.

Bill AB 431, introduced by Assemblyman Adam Gray earlier this year, was unanimously advanced past the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee (GO) in a hearing today according to OnlinePokerReport.

It's the first time an online poker bill has ever passed a committee vote, OPR says, although it does not mean the literal legalization of online poker yet.

Amendments Neutralize, More Hearings to Come

Racetrack issue still an, err, issue.

While it's not an outright endorsement of online poker in California in 2015 it has seemed to unify the disparate Indian bands and parties that need to come together.

According to OPR some small amendments made to the bill prior to the vote convinced some previously opposed Indian bands to change their stance from opposed to neutral.

There's still plenty of work needed on the bill before it can be considered for actual passing including agreements on a bad actor clause, taxes and racetracks.

Initial estimates put the value of the California Online Poker market at $200-$300m in its first few years.

At least three more hearings are planned in May, June and August to continue the process of filling out the "shell bill" AB 431 but the moving out of committee is considered a very positive sign for online poker in California. Read the full details on OnlinePokerReport.

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