The Third Bill on Online Poker Introduced in the State of California

May 17, 2013

Even though many states in the US are considering bills on online poker with a positive mindset, there are a few states that still have a derogatory opinion on the legalization of online poker. In an attempt to change the negative opinion of the legislative members in the state of California, poker enthusiasts have introduced the third bill on online poker within the state.

The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act

The third bill that is being introduced in the legislative house has been named the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2013. If this act is legalized within the state, the residents will have the freedom to play poker on the legal licensed websites within the state. But this bill does not have any mention of the online casino games. So the residents will not have the freedom to play casino games online even if this act is enforced within the state.

The similarities between this bill and the previous ones

Since this is the third bill on online poker that is being introduced within the state, it has a lot of similarities with the previous bills. The bad actor clause, which was an essential feature of all the other online poker bills that were introduced within the state, has been retained in this bill as well. According to this clause, all the poker operators that were charged with criminal offenses during the Black Friday phase, or poker operators who have a history of criminal offenses, cannot apply for a gambling license in the state of California.

This clause has been specifically retained in the present bill because the sponsors of the bill want to assure the state authorities that the legalization of online poker will not result in any chaos in the legal system of the state. The bill states that after the legalization of online poker, only a limited number of licenses will be issued to poker operators. So, the state authorities will be able to monitor the activities of all the legalized operators individually.

The benefits of the bad actor clause to the offshore companies

Since the latest bill on online gambling in the state of US has a bad actor clause, the offshore poker providers are hoping that it will be passed within the state. This is because this clause will open the California online poker industry for the offshore operators. According to the clause, the local poker operators who have a base within the state have the freedom to collaborate with poker providers outside the country, and offer online poker to the residents of the state. And since most of the local poker operators have been charged with criminal offenses during the Black Friday incident, offshore companies will dominate the online poker industry in California if this bill is passed.

The similarities between the online poker bill in California and in Nevada

Nevada was the first US state to legalize online poker within its premises, and at present, Ultimate Poker, the first licensed website within the state is functioning under its trial period. Since internet poker seems to be sailing well in the state of Nevada, a lot of the poker enthusiasts in the other states are wording their proposals similar to that of Nevada. The third online poker bill that has been proposed within the state of California shares a lot of similarities with the online poker law in Nevada as well.

Similar to the online poker law in Nevada, the present bill in California states that the licensed poker operators will be allowed to provide poker games only to the residents located within the state. Interstate poker is still an untouched subject within the country, but the big poker companies feel that if a lot of the US states legalize online poker, interstate poker services can be implemented within the country as well.

The history of online poker in the state of California

The introduction of the third bill on online poker implies that poker enthusiasts have made attempts to get online poker legalized within the state earlier as well. But none of the previous attempts have been successful, as the state officials have a mixed opinion on the legalization of online poker.

Many officials in the state legislative house have a negative opinion on online poker due to the Black Friday incident. On Black Friday, a very popular reference to the online poker industry in the US, several poker providers were charged with criminal offenses, and the accounts of several players were frozen by the federal government. This incident attached a derogatory connotation to the online poker industry, and many state officials continue to maintain this opinion about it.

Nonetheless, the sponsors of the present bill feel that online poker has come a long way since Black Friday, and they are hoping that the success of online poker in the state of Nevada will impact the mindset of the officials in California as well. The first authorized poker website within the state has already crossed the one million mark in its trial period, indicating that the US residents enjoy playing poker, and that they would spend money on legal websites. In addition to this, the Nevada state government has organized the entire industry within the state with ease. So there is a possibility that the Californian legislative house might consider the third online poker bill more seriously.