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   Friday, February 23 2024 
A new “bad actor-less” online poker bill introduced - California

After his failure to get the AB2291 bill regarding online poker regulation in California passed in 2014, California State Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer went ahead and introduced a freshly-improved draft law on Friday. Following a related initiative undertaken by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (AB 9) late last year, Sir Jones-Sawyer remains optimistic in the regulation and taxation of online poker in California by putting the AB 167 bill on the table of discussion. Entitled "The Internet Poker Consumer protection Act of 2015”, this new bill includes some changes, especially regarding the “Bad Actor” clause on which the AB2291bill was severely criticized. As mentioned above, the AB 167 includes no “Bad Actor” clause but would focus on individuals rather than corporate entities. Expectedly, those who have defied a legislative investigative body in the United States would be banned from the California online gaming license-race.

Obvious as it seems, many are notable gaming operators who would find themselves out of this race. Part of them is the world-famed PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. However, they could be offered a license in California since both poker rooms have recently been acquired by Amaya Gaming Group. Note that under the AB2291, both PokerStars and Full Tilt were erased from the list of potential e-gaming operator licensees. Of course, AB 167 is expected to raise a lot of debate in the Assembly, especially among those who support the Bad Actor Clause. A coalition of Indian tribes actually positions itself as a fierce opposition to Jones-Sawyer’s new bill. The reasons? AB 167 is said to benefit those who previously violated federal law with their illegal gaming activity.

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