The state of California has been back and forth with online poker legislation as none of the interested parties can seem to come to an agreement on the subject. AB9 was the first bill to be proposed this year within the state of California and was created Assemblyman Mike Gatto, but was met with some opposition. The new bill, AB 167, was created by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer and may have a better chance of being passed into legislation.
The new bill has removed two of the major areas of concern when it comes to the overall perspective of online poker gaming within the state. Bad actor provisions are not present in this measure and race tracks would be allowed to take part in the online gaming, which was a problem before.
While this new bill would meet the majority’s needs, there are some who are still not happy with the overall language of the bill. The Pechanga Tribe of the state have made it clear they are not happy with the bill and this could turn out to be another issue with the state being able to pass legislation.
The official terms of the new legislation would remove some issues and has an overall plan that could work. The licensing fee for interested parties would be $10mm and there would be additional fees for the application process as well as an annual revenue fee, both of which have not been given numbers. Licensing would be good for four years and renewable with a tax rate of 8.5% of GGR. Operators would be allowed to have as many as two poker site as long as the rooms are authorized by the state.
The measure is an urgency statute which means two thirds vote is needed for passage. It will be interesting to see how this measure fares and if this will be the right mix to get online poker in the state of California.