Gray’s iPoker Legislation Advances

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SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) today announced the passage of legislation to regulate intrastate Internet poker (iPoker) in California by the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee.

“We know unequivocally that Californians are playing these games online every single day on websites that provide zero consumer protections,” said Gray. “After countless revisions and meetings with stakeholders and consumer advocates, there remained two key issues raised by opponents: horse racing and suitability. Today we put forward language that settles the horse racing component, and negotiations over suitability continue.”

AB 2863 would authorize the operation of an iPoker website within California’s borders and would require the California Gambling Control Commission, in consultation with the California Department of Justice, to prepare regulations for the operation of an iPoker website.

“The question of how to regulate iPoker has been in front of the Legislature for nearly a decade,” continued Gray. “We have not rushed this process. We have taken the time necessary to thoroughly understand and respond to the concerns put forth by stakeholders. Through this process, we have created a coalition that is willing to acknowledge the problem and support a comprehensive solution.”

Federal law specifies that states may offer intrastate Internet gaming, so long as state laws offer reasonable protections against participation by underage persons or by persons located outside the boundaries of the states. Currently, only Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey allow for regulated intrastate Internet gaming.

“While we still have more work to do, I am confident that this legislation and this method can serve as a model for the rest of the nation,” finished Gray. “California needs a strong law that puts a stop to illegal online gambling, and that is what we have crafted.”

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