California Push for Online Poker in 2015
Two online poker bills were filed in California just prior to the legislative deadline this past Friday while Bally's AC will receive a major upgrade to its poker room.
Two New Online Poker Bills Introduced in California
This past Friday was the deadline to submit bills to be considered during the 2014 California legislative session. Two bills came in under-the-gun in an attempt to make the state the fourth to offer legal online poker.
The first bill is SB 1366, essentially a refiling of the SB 678 bill that failed to gain traction in 2013.
The other bill is essentially the "Pechanga Bill" from last year. AB 2291 was introduced by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer and has the support of several Indian nations in California.
AB 2291 is the more controversial of the two bills. Only card rooms and tribal casinos that have been in business at least five years can offer online poker in the state.
The bill calls for a $5 million filing fee for each company wanting to offer online gaming. However, licenses will be good for 10 years. Unlike SB 1366, AB 2291 calls for California to opt out of federal online poker solution and not pursue online compacts.
Should the bill pass online poker would go live on January 1, 2015.
Bills to legalize online poker have been filed every year since 2011 and none have come to a vote. With the state currently in an election year it's unlikely that either bill will be passed.
Bally's AC to Receive WSOP Poker Room
Bally's Atlantic City will soon begin renovations to its Wild Wild West casino and one major improvement will be a WSOP-themed poker room.
The state-of-the-art poker room will feature 42 cash-game tables and dedicated tournament tables. This will be the second WSOP-themed room in the city as Harrah's AC also has its own WSOP themed room.
Also included in the renovation is a "Party Pit" that will offer regular live entertainment on the weekends.
PokerStars had planned to open a poker room in Atlantic City on two occasions in 2014. The first plan was to open a room in the now defunct Atlantic Club. That deal fell through and the casino went out of business in January.
The other set of plans revolved around the company's partnership with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. Unfortunately, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement put PokerStars' online gambling application on hold for two years.