Amended Online Poker Bill in California Goes to Committee

Published Thursday, June 07, 2012 -

The race in the States to be the first to offer online poker is rapidly heating up as California initiates a bill to allow the past time in that State. Senator Rod Wright’s amended SB1463 online poker bill will get some attention this June 12th as a California Senate committee readies to discuss the proposal. Wright has attempted to get on the side the State of California’s Native tribes who have been opposed to the bill from the outset. The amended bill will not include slots or casino games and focuses entirely on the poker offering.

Some tribes are still opposed to the inclusion of racetracks and advanced deposit wagering sites in the eligibility list for licensing. Tribes are no longer required to waive their sovereignty rights to have an online poker license application considered. Time constraints were also changed in the new proposal making licenses only valid for five years instead of ten. Getting the money up front looks to be a priority for the State which wants a $30 million dollar deposit along with the granting of a license to operate that is credited against any fees that the state is owed.

After five years instead of the previous proposal of three years the owner of said license will make monthly payments equalling ten percent of gross gaming revenues. The State of California also reserves the right to amend the fee structure after the five year agreement concludes. signed a joint venture online poker deal last month with California’s United Auburn Indian Community a deal which some speculate may be voided by the old bill. New wording in the bill regarding a licensee’s ability to partner with technology suppliers may have changed that requirement. A portion of the old proposal prohibits any company that took wagers from US citizens after Dec. 31, 2006 has been amended to exclude only those companies that “knowingly and willfully” engaged in the process.

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