Back in June, the defeat of Massachusetts representative Barney Frank’s proposed bill to halt the strict UIGEA regulations marked a sad day for the world of online poker. The 32-32 tie vote meant the bill was done for and this decision brought more regulations from the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve. However, there may be some light on the horizon as the state of California is moving closer and closer to implementing legalized online poker.
The proposal just recently passed through the California Senate Governmental Organization Committee and is on its way to the Senate Appropriations Committee in August. The name of the bill is the California Gambling Control/Intrastate Online Poker Legalization Act and it seeks to legalize online poker gambling.
If it gets passed, the bill will take effect as quickly as July of 2009. More importantly, if the bill makes its way through the California Senate, it would make California the first state in the US to legalize and run online poker for the people who live there.
Some people may have heard about this bill back in February when word of it first spread, however, this version of it is different in the fact that this is no longer a proposed study into online poker but instead an all-out plan to regulate and legislate legal Internet poker in the state.
And though this is just one state that is in the midst of legalizing online poker, it is the biggest state in terms of population in the US and would be a huge boost overall to the effort of getting online poker legalized in other places. But if the legalization comes as proposed, it will also be interesting to see if this state-run brand of poker will be better or worse than the current method of international businesses running online poker.