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AMENDMENTS TO CALIFORNIA ONLINE POKER BILL OUTLINED
Monday February 15,2015 : AMENDMENTS TO CALIFORNIA ONLINE POKER BILL OUTLINED (Update)
AB431 classified as an urgent measure requiring a two-thirds legislative approval.
New details seem to be surfacing almost daily on the latest attempt to legalise online gambling in California - Assemblyman Adam Gray's AB431.
Over the weekend media reports started to emerge on the latest amendments to the bill, including amendment 4 which classified the measure as an urgent issue set for implementation immediately following a positive vote in the state Legislature. That means that Californian lawmakers would have to return a two-thirds majority vote to push the bill through.
The content is still open to debate, but the draft currently proposes:
* The now much-publicised $57 - 60 million subsidy for the horse racing industry to keep it out of any state poker market (see the detail in previous InfoPowa reports);
* Taxes and licence fees as outlined in previous InfoPowa reports, and a restriction of two websites per licensee;
* Licenses will run for 7 years;
* What appears to be an exclusionary proposal that only California Indian tribes and card clubs with a satisfactory five year operational experience record will be eligible for licensing;
* An exclusionary proposal barring licensing for entities that are currently accepting gambling business contrary to California or federal US laws;
* Partnerships between card clubs and Indian tribes will be permitted;
* Legalisation is confined solely to online poker, defined as a game between players and not involving any type of player-to-dealer or player-to-banker relationship. There is a specific exclusion of Pai Gow as a banker-involved game;
* Both cash games and tournaments are envisaged, and flexible per-hand charges are authorised on cash games, but not a rake of the pot;
* Tournament admin fees are permitted;
* A player minimum age limit of 21 years is proposed, with poker accounts created in person on the premises of a licensed operator or through telephone, internet or mail;
* ID and geo-location verification technology must be deployed by operators;
* There are stringent financial and money laundering controls;
* Contravening the new law will be a felony, with appropriately severe punitive consequences. The bill makes provision for a Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Fund to be used to investigate illegal gambling;
* Operators must offer full 24/7 support for customers, with staff based in California;
* Servers, bank accounts and records must all be located in California, and service providers must grant access to state officials on demand;
* Access to problem gambling services and advice must be provided by operators, along with facilities to limit betting and self-exclude. Software must also inform players of time spent playing, loss and deposit limits;
* Once the measure has been approved, state regulators will have 270 days to draft regulations. Any Californian licensed operator in good standing will automatically qualify for online poker licensing;
* Operators must give 90 days’ notice before ceasing operations on a website, and the regulator can intervene if necessary through the courts;
* California online poker legislation will be automatically repealed on January 1, 2024 unless specifically extended by the state legislature.
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Gambling News :
Pokerstars Now Lead Sponsor of Global Poker League -
Alex Dreyfuss Global Poker League has received a significant boost from the announcement by Dreyfuss Mediarex Sports and Entertainment company Friday that online pokers biggest operator, Pokerstars, has signed on as lead and exclusive GPL sponsor.
Betconstruch invests in Ucrafts -
BetConstruct may have also been attracted by the obvious interest in Ucrafts business - the start-up has already gained 5,000 subscribers in just a few months of commercial activity.
Plus500 Founders Selling Off Shares -
Alon Gonen and Gal Haber respectively sold 7.2 million shares, retaining a 10.4 percent interest in the company; and 2.6 million shares, retaining a smaller stake of just 3.6 percent.
Rush Golf Live Launches -
Virtual sports provider Inspired Gaming has announced the launch of its latest product - Rush Golf Live - with Betfred the first operator to carry the game.
GreenTube and Chopsticks In Partnership -
Novomatic Interactive subsidiary Greentube has announced that it has signed a partnership deal with the Gibraltar-based mobile app developer Chopsticks In The Apps Ltd through which it will organize distribution of Chopsticks games through its online, mobile, social and land-based channels.
Singapore Gambling Exemptions Granted -
The issue of certain state-linked commercial organisations being granted exemptions from Singapores tough anti-online gambling laws has been on the table for the past few months and has been the subject of opposition complaints; protest petitions and general argument.
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