Live poker games have been available to Californians for some time now. However, there are currently no licensing requirements, regulations or law enforcement tools designed to protect the millions of poker players in California who play real money games on the Internet. Today at 3:30pm PST, California’s Senate Government Organization Committee will discuss the state’s first Internet poker legislation.
The legislation, known as Senate Bill 1485, will implement several rules and regulations on the Internet poker industry and players in California. The bill will authorize three hub operators to allow legal poker gaming online in the state. This means that Californians will only be able to play at those specified hubs when in California. Additionally, these hubs must fork over at least 20% of their gross revenues to the Internet Gambling Fund each month, a newly created Californian fund. Online poker players must be at least 21 years old.
Both the Morongo Band of Million Indians and the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) have issues with the bill in its present form. John Pappas, the executive director of the PPA said, “We have some legitimate concerns with the legislation that hopefully will get remedied. A lot of people think the chances of this bill moving forward this year are slim because no one has really gotten behind the current draft and there seems to be a lot of division on what the best end product would be.”
It will be interesting to see what results from discussion of the bill in California today.