Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | Gambling and the Law

California to Revisit Intrastate Online Gaming in February

Share this
A subject that seemed to be indefinitely on hold is scheduled to be revisited by the California state legislature in February of 2010. The idea of intrastate online poker was first introduced in early 2008 and experienced a roller coaster ride in the state of California until September of 2009 when the Indian tribes failed to agree on the issue, thus relegating it to on-hold status until further notice. But the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Commerce Casino have announced their intentions to move the piece of legislation forward.

AB 2026 was introduced to the state legislature by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine in 2008 as a means to authorize a study to investigate the possible revenue and other benefits of legalizing and regulating intrastate online poker. But the bill failed to gain ground after passing through its first committee, and with Levine no longer in office to push it along, the bill was stagnant until August of 2009 when Morongo decided to pursue collective support among the land-based casinos and Indian casinos. Again, however, the effort ran into troubles when many participants in the California Tribal Intrastate Internet Poker Consortium opposed the idea, including powerhouse Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians.

It was in September of 2009 that Morongo decided to put its efforts on hold, though spokesman Patrick Dorinson did say, “Some concerns have been raised, and we want to make sure we address those concerns so this can benefit everyone. We are going to redouble our efforts and present this in January to the [state] legislature.”

True to his word, Morongo has announced its intention to obtain a hearing with the California legislature in early 2010. Teamed up with Commerce Casino, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians approached State Senator Roderick Wright, Chairman of the Governmental Organization Committee, to schedule a hearing on the proposed gaming legislation in February.

Not only are there approximately one million residents of California who currently play online poker, but of the hundreds of billions of dollars that is wagered online annually, a sizable portion of that could add up to revenue for the state of California as it struggles with a multi-billion dollar deficit. With regulations in place that would benefit California without interfering with the slot machine revenue of Indian casinos, which is an exclusive right of Indian tribes to operate electronic games of chance, proposed legislation could garner support by offering strict regulations to accompany any legalized intrastate gaming.

As noted by Senator Dean Florez and reported by Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times, “I think it is workable and a potential source of new revenue. How you structure it is the key.”

Wright looks to bring the legislation to committee for a hearing with testimony that more than $1 billion each year could be raised by legalizing internet poker in California. In addition, Wright speculated that many of the state’s 67 Indian tribes, 89 card clubs, and numerous charitable organizations would look to participate in the legalized industry. “There are 300 to 400 entities who could apply and say we want a piece of the action,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

An exact date for the hearing has not been set, but Wright is looking at February, and more details will emerge as the state legislature returns from the holiday recess.

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed