In the recent months, a bill has been set forth that would explore the federal legality of a California-only poker service. The bill is one more step closer to going to a vote in the California legislature. The Committee on Governmental Organization approved the bill with a unanimous vote and passed it on to the Committee on Appropriations, on Wednesday.
The Committee on Governmental Organization’s decision is precisely what the bill (AB 2026) needed for a healthy progression towards being put up for vote in the California legislature. The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Lloyd Levin back in February.
If passed, this bill would enable the California Gambling Control Commission to work with the state Department of Justice in order to study whether this California-only service would be illegal under federal laws.
According to the UIGEA, individual states have the right to decide on intrastate online gambling affairs. With that, states have the right to legalize and regulate the activity as they please. Levine is searching for whether online gambling run in California just for that state’s residents would be legal according to the UIGEA.
According to Levine’s statements to numerous media outlets, the federal law appears to leave room for states to legalize online gambling as long as both the player and the server hosting the service are located in the same state. His bill will help shed light on this issue and more.
In order to take another step closer to a vote in legislation, the Committee on Appropriations must approve the bill with their vote first. If the bill is approved, and it shows that intrastate online gambling is legal and feasible, California could eventually set up such a service for its residents.
“It would be regulated,” Levine said in Capitol Weekly. “We don’t know what the state’s piece will be, but it will be a regulated entity.”
Levine holds that such a service would provide an added sense of security in that players will be guaranteed their winnings. Any site caught refusing a player their funds would be penalized under regulation and enforcement.