Online poker in the state of California may still be far from fruition, but the movement to join the online gaming industry in the United States is moving forward. Assemblyman in the state, Adam Gray, made changes to his AB 431 legislation which allowed an approval vote during a recent meeting of the State Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. After the latest version was updated, AB 431 moved forward to pass unanimously in the state.
The new version of the AB 431 bill is not that much different from the original legislation but does remain a shell bill. The bill can be used as an outline to regulate online poker in the state but more details will need to be added before the bill can pass into law.
In the bill, the language was changed subtly or removed to help the bill move forward. The bill now restrictions online poker sites to be operated by those who are only considered qualified entities. This is a gesture towards the Indian tribes that would like to see bad actor clauses added to legislation. Many tribes want to see such brands as PokerStars to be removed from licensing.
Also included in the new bill is the language that online poker will be sanctioned and regulated by California instead of the previous language which included the Department of Justice and the state Gambling Control Commission making the regulations for such gaming.
None of the changes are of major significance and the bill is still limited in terms of outlining online poker within the state. However, the changes were critical in moving the bill through the committee which will hopefully help to get the ball rolling with legislation for online poker gaming. In the coming weeks and months we shall see how the industry continues within the state.