PokerStars brands California online poker bill a ‘rehash’ of failed proposals

PokerStars brands California online poker bill a ‘rehash’ of failed proposals

Friday, December 5, 2014

A new bill that has been introduced in California as part of an effort to legalise online poker in the US state has been criticised by PokerStars, with the online poker brand claiming the new legislation is a “rehash” of failed previous attempts.

Introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, the AB 9 legislation has been designed to create a framework for the state’s online poker industry.

If approved, the legislation would establish a regulatory structure, under which all players and operators would be provided with “certainty and security that will legitimise the game, support locally-owned businesses, and keep much-needed revenue in the state,” Gatto’s website said.

AB 9 has drawn comparisons with a bill submitted earlier this year by Senator Lou Correa, but the legislation was scrapped after Correa said in August that there would not be enough time for the bill to be passed before the end of the current year.

Aaron Moreno, legislative director for Assemblyman Gatto, told TotallyGaming.com earlier this week that there is a “strong possibility” that California will launch a regulated online poker service as a result of the new bill. He said that AB 9 includes new provisions that will enhance security to address concerns about underage players and financial crimes.

However, in a statement released today (Friday), Amaya Gaming-owned PokerStars has criticised the new legislation for being too similar to failed previous proposals.

“We are convinced that the various interests must work together if we are to be successful in establishing a well-regulated environment and the best-in-class internet poker industry for California,” PokerStars said.

“Unfortunately, AB 9 is a rehash of previously unsuccessful proposals. Any bill that seeks to establish artificial competitive advantages for some, while denying Californians the best online poker experiences, will only serve to divide the community and will be opposed by our coalition.”

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