California Pushing for Legalized Online Poker


As nationwide or interstate gambling legislation looms on the horizon at a slower than expected pace, intrastate gambling has gained momentum in 2012. Last week two states, Iowa and Mississippi, both made pushes for legalizing intrastate online gambling. This past weekend, California, the country’s largest state introduced a new online gambling bill, with hopes of helping the state collect much needed tax revenues.

A new bill, the Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012, or SB 1463, was introduced by Senator Darrel Steinberg and Senator Roderick Wright on Friday.

Like many other governments, the State of California is yet another government who wants to help solve their growing budget deficits by collecting hundreds of millions of tax dollars from gambling.

If the law passes, operators can apply for a 10-year license and each licensee would be required to pay a nonrefundable license fee in the amount of $30 million for deposit in the General Fund. The license fee would be credited against monthly fees imposed on the licensee’s gross gaming revenue proceeds, as specified.

At the start, only online poker would be allowed and after a two-year period, the department may phase in other games allowed under the California Constitution and Penal Code.

Many tribes in California who have been previously opposed to the introduction of online gambling continue to present major opposition, arguing that they would be unable to compete with larger operators if the state approves a new licensing system.

Senator Roderick Wright has been a proponent of legalized online gambling and has made previously tried to for a bill in the Golden State and has spoken at gaming conferences.


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