California is preparing to join the ranks of states offering legal online poker sites in the US.
Local authorities have introduced two new bills which seek to regulate virtual poker rooms. Drawn up by Assembly member Reginald Jones-Sawyer, urgency Bill AB 2291 proposes that all forms of internet gambling except for online poker sites be forbidden.
After Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, California will become the fourth state to jump at the opportunity of introducing internet gambling under the current American gambling laws. Nevada also only offers online poker.
After making it clear than players in California are only allowed to play poker on the internet, the bill also includes penalties for those who break the law, with all proceeds going to the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Fund.
Legal by the end of 2014?
In order to pass, the urgency bill requires a two-to-three majority. A favorable vote would mean the new bill could take effect immediately, but it would take 270 days to actually implement the new poker regulations.
The second proposal is entitled Bill SB 1366 and was forwarded by state Senator Lou Correa. This second urgency bill also calls for the prohibition of all forms of online gambling except for poker, but proposes that regulations be adopted within 120 days, instead of 270.
Either way, it looks like there is a big chance that California will have legal online poker sites by the end of 2014.