Place Your Bets: California Proposal to Increase Online Poker Purveyors Draws Fire from PPA and Tribal Coalition

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Place Your Bets California Proposal to Increase Online Poker Purveyors Draws Fire from PPA and Tribal CoalitionThis news just in: The proposed online poker legislation (AB9) introduced by California Assemblyman Mike Gatto is drawing fire from the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), a tribal coalition, and PokerStars.

“California online poker would bring in much-needed revenues to the cash-strapped Golden State, which is why Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced AB 9 this week,  AKA the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015,” noted CardsChatNews.

But a coalition of card rooms and two Indian tribes aligned with PokerStars immediately slammed Gatto’s bill for “bad actor” language and are objecting to the legislation.

In brief, the issue is about opening up online poker in California to new players to increase state revenues.

But according to the coalition against the pending bill,  “AB 9 is a rehash of previously unsuccessful proposals. Any bill that seeks to establish artificial competitive advantages for some, while denying Californians the best online poker experiences, will only serve to divide the community and will be opposed by our coalition.”

“The rush to bring online poker to California has been a lengthy journey, and while the ball has been rolling for some time, residents are currently unable to play remote games,” explains CardsChatNews. “Gatto’s bill would permit tribal operators and card clubs to offer Internet poker to those physically in the state, but its “bad actor” clause would greatly reduce player options. The legislation’s biggest sticking point seeks to penalize PokerStars for operating in the state following the December 31, 2006, enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA).”

It could be a long battle.

“The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015 has a long road ahead, with parties lining up ready to campaign for their specific goals,” notes CardsChatNews. “Providing online poker to California’s 38 million residents is a vital next step in the overall stability of Internet gambling in the United States. The country’s largest state is expected to come on board in 2015, but whether it’s AB 9 or another bill remains to be seen.”

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