California Fast-tracks Intrastate Internet Poker Bill

Read the marked-up legislation here

by , Jun 1, 2010 | 10:37 pm

Nope, nope, nothing’s changing, there’s nothing to see here … all in poker who are insisting that their lives didn’t just change dramatically are friggin’ idiots can just keep their heads in the sand reading Pokerati to see what the crazy people are talking about when not pimping 1/2 NL/PLO @hardrockpoker.

But all of the above is irrelevant, right, when we are discussing state bills, as opposed to federal? Technically, yes. However, when you realize that government is like the worst offenders in internet content ganking, you can see why the bill California just officially introduced — SB 1485 — is so significant … as it could become the baseline from which other states would cut and paste without credit or even a linkback!.

And how quickly are they ready to move on this measure? According to eGaming Review:

Intrastate initiatives in California, New Jersey and Florida, [have] been designated as an urgency measure. This means [SB 1485] would go into effect immediately upon legislative passage and signature by the Governor. A non-urgency measure would not go into effect until 1 January 2011.

Wow, that’s fast! Should we be happy or sad about this? Very hard to say. While internet poker is supposed to be a good thing all-around (right?), would current online poker players believe so if they weren’t able to transfer FTP Points over to a new site, or have the option to buy a Ferrari with PokerStars Dollars? At the same time, who would care if securing buy-ins at the Commerce were suddenly as easy as purchasing White Widow Indo-kush top-quality marijuana in Cali? Well actually, right now the Indians would care; they don’t want this bill. Complex issues … to be handled immediately by people who may or may not understand the intricacies of rakeback and multitabling.

Still, regardless, how big might the next WSOP-Circuit event be at Harrah’s-Rincon?

The plan for California in State Sen. Rod Wright’s (D-Inglewood) bill is to have online poker ops bid for three state-sanctioned games. would like to hereby officially start the bidding at $100 $150 … any takers? If we have to go much higher, we’re gonna need some backers, preferably those with superior eBay skills.

Now keep in mind that bills do change before they get to any governor’s or president’s desk. But because of the fast-track nature of SB 1485, there may not be time for too many more edits. Have a look at what they’re working with … here’s the actual marked-up bill, which could make California the first state in the US to have fully legal internet poker.

4 Comments to “California Fast-tracks Intrastate Internet Poker Bill ”


    The Govenator has publicly stated he wants on-line Poker in california legalized. The Morongo Band of Indians tried to take control here. (The worst Indian Casino in the State in my Opinion)

    For once California is doing something in the right direction. Now the marijuana legislation is a whole other ball game. If they do legalize it it will make my job a whole lot easier.

    By the way Pokerstars allowed me to put money in my account today, when I tried Full Tilt with the same debit card, I was denied.

  2. Rakewell

    You neglect to mention that the same bill will make it a crime to play online poker at any site that ISN’T licensed by the state of California. Given that, I don’t think it’s one bit “hard to say” what to think of the proposal. It stinks. Why Scott Diamond would think that it’s “something in the right direction” for the state to be gain the power to throw you in jail for playing on PokerStars is beyond me.

  3. DanM

    It’s complicated stuff … as much as the Stars model for intrastate has worked with and … i’m pretty sure there won’t be room for a PokerStars.cali to get one of those initial three licenses. That would be more likely to go to Zynga.

    Though I don’t know about the California legislative process specifically, I do believe they almost certainly won’t get it right the very first time … and in fact, the people writing and passing said laws don’t want it to be right the first time, otherwise they would lose a potentially lucrative gig for years to come!


    I don’t think it’s right for the “State” to run on-line Poker I am just saying its “Good” for on line Poker to get legalized SOMEWHERE in the USA.

    The Govenator has hit the Indian Casinos hard here for money to help balance the budget. I am sure they want control of on line Poker but they have no experience at it. There slots are some of the tightest in the world and they do not have regulations like Vegas as far as I know.

    If I were one of the Major on line sites and knew California was thinking about doing some online Poker, I would send someone to Sacramento and explain to them how regulation,taxation and deposits/withdraws would work for the State. I think it’s LOBBYING?

    Its just a bill in the assembly but it shows there is interest in online Poker by politicians who were not so interested several years ago. The PPA must be making a difference!

    There is still a long way to go and the key to all of this in my opinion as I have stated many times is “Regulation” Who will be in charge of making sure it is done properly. No cheating,software is on the up and up? the Attorney Generals Office will have to be involved and a New Penal Code section will have to be written and passed so those who cheat steal or ruin the integrity of the game can be charged with a Felony.

    Am I right Dan?