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Third California Online Poker Bill Introduced by Hall, Gray
Momentum continues to build toward legal online poker in the State of California with a third bill now introduced by two prominent politicians.
Parallel bills SB 278 and AB 431 were announced today by State Sen. Isadore Hall and Assemblyman Adam Gray, joining two previous bills already introduced.
The difference between Hall and Gray's bills and the bills that have come before?
The two men chair their respective Governmental Organization committees, which oversee gambling in the State.
"A Framework That Can Be National Model"
While still a "placeholder" bill the prominence and influence of the two politicans does make it likely these new bills will be the forebearers of intrastate online poker in California in some form.
2016 is the likely adoption date of some form of the bills but several key obstacles remain with all of the legislation in play including bill AB 9, introduced by Mike Gatto last year, and AB 167 introduced by Reggie Jones Sawyer last month.
A "bad actor" clause in AB 9, ostensibly preventing PokerStars from returning to the US market, has been an issue although a new agreement between Caesars, PokerStars and the support of several local tribes has reduced that concern.
Opposition from race tracks in the state is also a concern. Hall and Gray, however, say it's time for all parties to get on the same page:
“The issue of iPoker in California has historically been divisive; dealing legislators, the governor and the public a folding hand,” said Senator Hall and Assemblymember Gray. “It is time to work together, stop bluffing and take control of this issue."
“This iPoker proposal must include a strong regulatory framework that protects Californians,” Gray added. “We need to crack down on illegal online gaming and replace it with a safe and responsible entertainment option for adults, which includes safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud, and identity theft.”
“We intend to develop a framework in California that can be a national model,” said Senator Hall.