California, Mississippi and Washington Make Effort To Legalize Online Poker
Three more states have come forward with legislation that leads to legalizing state based online poker gambling for their residents and visitors. Those three states, California, Mississippi and Washington have all introduced new bills to be reviewed by their respective legislative bodies. Should all three states actually vote in favor of these bills and sign them into law, the existing online poker industry would more than double taking into account California’s massive volume of potential players. This will give interstate gambling compacts a whole new perspective.
California AB 9 – Assemblyman Mike Gatto
The first state to move forward was California. Assemblyman Mike Gatto presented AB 9 for consideration. The state’s dire financial situation would greatly benefit from the added revenue provided through taxation of players and operators, and through licensing fees and other types of start up fees paid by the businesses launching the poker sites. California unquestionably has a large enough population to adequately support an online gambling industry. It is likely that other states would be climbing over each other to form an interstate compact with CA to get in on that massive player pool. There have been several other attempts at online poker legalization in California, though all have ended up failing due to lengthy and unsolvable disputes among the tribal parties involved. The legalization of online poker could also pave the way to bring in state regulated casino games that deliver great options such as California online blackjack, video poker, slots and roulette, among others. . Learn more about California online gambling laws.
Washington HB 1114 – D-Rep Sherry Appleton
Washington State has presented HB 1114, sponsored by D-Rep Sherry Appleton. The bill was submitted on Jan 12, 2015 and would serve to authorize online poker and provide regulatory oversight for the emerging industry. The bill suggests paying for the regulation through licensing fees and other required fees for start up. A proposed taxation structure was not included in the bill. Appleton points out the irony of existing online poker laws in which the state permits poker gambling in casinos and card rooms but then calling people felons if they play poker in the privacy of their own home. The bill goes on to point to the fact that Washington residents are very involved in offshore online poker at this time, and by legalizing and providing state regulated options, they would be making the gaming environment much safer for their residents and keeping all that money in the state of WA.
Mississippi HB 306 – Mississippi Lawful Internet Gambling Act – D-Rep Bobby Moak
Also introducing online poker legislation on Jan 12, 2015 was Bobby Moak, representing the state of Mississippi. This is Moak’s fourth time introducing online poker legislation in four years. The man is determined and keeps coming back, year after year. Mississippi has not yet been responsive to his efforts, and none of his previous bills have been taken forward I the process. Many supporters are not holding out hope that this bill will become law based on the three previous failures, but you’ve got to give Moak kudos for his determination and conviction on the matter. If nothing else, he is keeping the conversation going and keeping the possibility of establishing state based online poker gambling alive.