The latest news regarding online poker regulation in the States comes to us from California. It would appear a new, amended bill is to be reviewed on Monday and perhaps the most important amendment is the provision which would enforce five-year ban for PokerStars in California.
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Monday vote to decide the fate of PokerStars in California
Although California has made a significant progress towards online poker regulation during the past couple of years, the law still hasn’t been passed. The main reason for this is the opposition from the Native American casinos who seem unwilling to change their stance on the whole „bad actors“ issue.
Namely, these casino operators are strongly against allowing PokerStars, the only remaining functional „bad actor,“ an easy access to the market. Earlier proposed changes tried to introduce a hefty fee which PokerStars would have to pay prior to entering California but this provision was clearly not enough.
Those behind the online poker bill in California, led by the Assemblyman Adam Gray, finally budged and introduced a five-year ban for PokerStars in California as a core part of the bill. This move should secure the necessary majority in the Assembly and finally have the bill advance to the Senate.
Future of online poker in California on the line
Apart from banning PokerStars in California, the bill will also propose a changed taxation rate. Initially, a sliding scale was envisioned, with the rates fluctuating between 8.6% and 15%. The amended bill proposes 10% fixed rate for all providers.
It seems that the future of online poker in California is being decided right about now. Should the bill pass the Assembly, it will move to the Senate where it will need to be confirmed before the end of this month (August).
Is stalemate over?
After years of the stalemate situation, things are finally getting back on track. California has always been considered one of the crucial states in the process of taking things to a whole new level. If the USA is ever going to have a federal law on online poker, this is one of a several states which need to lead the revolution.
Now they are almost there. There are still some wrinkles that need ironing out, no doubt about that, but judging by the Gray’s and positive outlook of his associates and supporters, the online poker legislation might be well on the way.
The mandatory five-year ban for PokerStars in California is certainly not something players will be thrilled about but if that’s the price that has to be paid, then so be it. The bill has been on hold for far too long and if this is the only possible solution, that’s simply something we’ll have to deal with.
There is no doubt that a giant like PokerStars could give online poker in the state a significant boost but even without them, there are more than enough interested parties to create a healthy online environment.
So, now we wait… Yet again.