California votes on online poker legislation
The California legislature will vote on SB1485 today, which would legalize and regulate online poker in the state. Should the legislation pass, California would become the first state to enact its own Internet gambling laws, and ironically the measure would be approved on the day UIGEA legislation goes into effect at the federal level.
California’s huge budget deficits have made the move a necessity, as the state looks to add revenue –in addition to online poker, California is also close to legalizing marijuana. However, California is not alone with its budget troubles, and should the measure pass you can expect many states to look into their own online poker legislation which has the capability of adding millions of dollars to state’s coffers.
SB1485 has been tabbed with “urgency” status, a measure used to allow a law to go into effect instantaneously, instead of waiting until January 1st of 2011 –the normal time frame from passage to implementation of laws.
SB1485 would allow the state to issue three 5-year licenses to Internet poker providers operating inside the state; additionally all participants must be California residents to play on the online poker sites. It’s unclear what this would mean for foreign online poker rooms, and just who will receive one of the precious three licenses.
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