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  1. The Restoration of America's Wire Act has now been introduced in both the US Senateand House of Representatives, causing at least a little bit of concern in the poker world, but that does not mean that efforts to legalize online poker in individual states has stopped. Californiaheld another poker hearing last week, perhaps inching ever so slightly closer to creating a regulated internet poker market in the state. It is still a ways off and there are still several points of disagreement among stakeholders, but the hearings at least indicate that the process isn't moving backwards. One thi
  2. [caption width="640"] Online poker players in California have reason to be concerned about the latest regulation efforts[/caption] A new bill in California that would license and regulate online poker would also make it a felony for players to play on an offshore online poker site - even before regulated sites are up and running. AB 2863, introduced last Friday by Assemblymen Adam Gray and Reggie Jones-Sawyer, establishes a framework to legalize and regulate online poker in California, considered the "Holy Grail" of markets in the US due to its population. The bill would allow for shared l
  3. In a recent Scouting Report, PokerScout.com compared the cash game traffic of the US states with legal online poker rooms with traffic data from before Black Friday. PokerScout didn't know the exact pre-Black Friday state-by-state player breakdown, as this is not something that was tracked, but it used traffic data and player demographics from early 2010 to get an estimate. PokerScout found that levels of player activity in New Jersey and Nevada are about the same now as they were before Black Friday. New Jersey is under-performing slightly, while Nevada's current traffic is actually beatin
  4. Earlier this month, California Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced AB 9, otherwise known as the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015. The bill is similar to legislation filed last year, but contains a critical amendment that was seemingly written to block Amayafrom launching PokerStars in the state. In an interview with OnlinePokerReport, Gatto (pictured) revealed plans to sit down with the online gambling giant and its allies to hear their opinions on his proposed legislation. "Today we have scheduled meetings with the Amaya coalition," he said. "I expect before the end of
  5. Coming into Day 6 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, Los Angeles' Eddy Sabat was looking to claim something that he has pursued for the last seven years – a WSOP bracelet. With his 2.215 million in chips, good for 39th place at the start of Day 6, Sabat was in an excellent position to add to what had already been a very successful tournament poker career. He finished in 16th place for $347,000. Although his first tournament cash came in 2007, the poker world began to learn about Sabat with his third place showing at the WSOP Circuit stop at Harrah's Rincon in San Diego in 2008. B
  6. The Poker Players Alliance conducted a survey in California focused on PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the world which vacated the US market on Black Friday. "We have heard from many of you regarding the future of PokerStars in the United States, so we wish to get a sense of the community to help guide our decision-making," the survey said. The results were, on virtually every front, positive for PokerStars. Of the 1,229 people who responded to the survey, 92% (1,134) had played real money or play money poker on PokerStars. When it came to the experience of players with the sit
  7. On the same day that PokerStars laid out plans to return to the United Statesfor the first time since Black Friday, the highly anticipated meeting of the California State Assembly's Governmental Organization Committee was held, with a great deal of positive conversation about online poker, but no firm actions were taken. The hearing, entitled "The Future Public Policy and Fiscal Implications of Authorizing iPoker Gaming in California," was expected to address several areas of concern regarding online poker in the state. A total of 33 witnesses stepped before the committee and its chairma
  8. [caption width="640"] Pennsylvania remains a must-watch state for online poker legislation in 2016[/caption] For online poker supporters, June could best be summed up with the first half of a famous Shakespeare line, as the month was full of sound fury in multiple state legislators. Unfortunately, July completed the quote, as thus far, all of the hullabaloo that occurred in June has signified nothing. Even though no less than four states have given serious consideration to legalizing online gambling this year - New York, Michigan, California, and Pennsylvania - to date, not a single on
  9. On Friday, PocketFives had the opportunity to sit down with Pala Interactive CEO Jim Ryan (pictured), who formerly held the same position at Excapsa and bwin.party. Ryan's newest venture has made inroads into the regulated New Jersey gaming market via an online casino and comes with a unique perspective on the future of our industry. PocketFives: Thank you for joining us. Talk about your expectations for the new i-gaming credit card code, which would in theory make it easier for customers to deposit onto regulated sites. Jim Ryan: I am excited about it. The new merchant category codes ar
  10. A second bill regulating online poker has been introduced in California, according to CardPlayer and other sites. The bill is the brainchild of Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyerand is called the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015. The bill apparently has the support of PokerStarsand players must be located in California in order to hop online. The contingent that includes PokerStars and three major land-based casinos in the state said of it, "[W]e are encouraged that his approach will move the discussion of online poker forward in a positive direction." Those sentiments are in sta
  11. The state of Californiais considering a new bill that would allow its citizens to participate in a state-regulated online poker market. Introduced earlier this week by California Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D - Los Angeles, pictured), the bill, known by AB 9 or "The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015," has been marked at this point with an "urgency" status, which means that if two-thirds of the California Assembly and the Senate vote in favor of it, it would immediately go into law without having to go to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. In an interview with Matthew Kredell o
  12. Earlier in the year, expectations were high that Californialawmakers would make online poker a reality in 2015. But, with the Golden State's gambling stakeholders at an impasse over a few key issues, analysts now believe that the prospect is slipping away. A letter recently sent to Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer by a powerful coalition of tribes does nothing to suggest these factions will find a compromise anytime soon. Six tribes signed on to the letter, which was written in response to Jones-Sawyer's internet poker legislation, AB 167, introduced earlier this year. The bill would lega
  13. Last week, the first ever American Poker Conference preceding the American Poker Awards took place in Los Angeles. A four-panel agenda featuring some of the brightest and most visible minds in the industry led to a few takeaways, which I wanted to share. Live Streams Are Mandatory If you're running a live event, a live stream isn't optional. As DeepStacks Poker Tour's Chris Torina put it, "A poker room should never run an event without social media and a live stream." A live stream results in players and viewers marketing the event for you. Free marketing ftw! Similarly, having commen
  14. According to a press release, California Assemblyman Mike Gatto (pictured) will be making tweaks to his proposed intrastate online poker bill (AB 9), removing language that required players to register at a brick-and-mortar casino. Gatto commented, "My goal remains creating a sensible framework for a new California industry. That will involve a thoughtful process of consultation with all of the key stakeholders. I pride myself in listening; I expect this process will continue throughout the year." The Golden State lawmaker said of allowing online sign-ups rather than forcing would-be player
  15. In an article that will be published in the next issue of Gaming Law Review and Economics that Bluff Magazinepreviewed, Professor I. Nelson Rose (pictured) of GamblingAndTheLaw.comsays that "bad actor" clauses could be permitted since gambling is considered a vice. That opinion is in contrast to a theory put forth by Laurence Tribe, who said that bad actor clauses could be unconstitutional. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live e
  16. While its state legislature continues to wrangle over the questions regarding regulation of online poker within its borders, a California Indian tribe is potentially moving forward with its own real money operation. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel Indians last week sent out a press release on Monday saying it would open the first
  17. The online poker traffic monitoring site PokerScout.com published its weekly Scouting Reporton Monday, detailing some of the latest goings-on in the industry. A portion of the piece focused not on what happened in the past, but rather would could possibly happen in the future when it comes to the United States' potential golden poker goose: California. Last week, as readers of this site may remember, the California State Assembly's Governmental Organization Committee held a hearing to discuss the possibility of intrastate online poker. While it took on a decidedly pro-poker tone, no decisio
  18. One of the bills that many hoped would legalize online poker in California has been shelved, making it doubtful that there will be any movement by the state legislature on the issue this year. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- The bill's author, State Senator Lou Correa (pictured), concluded that due to continual disagreements between the Golden State's gambling
  19. In recent days, PocketFives brought you an article about the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel Indians in California launching real money online poker games on PrivateTable.com. The rationale: a loophole in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that could allow legal online poker. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- One of the potential downsides of launching a site prior to
  20. It is the dream of every tournament grinder to play on the "big stage" that is the World Series of Poker Main Event. For the 2014 WSOP Main Event, that mantle was being carried by Los Angeles' Michael Kamran. Kamran entered Day Six of the 2014 WSOP Main Event in 34th position, roughly the middle of the field, with a 2.6 million chip stack that he meticulously built. Kamran earned his first tournament cash in 2007 at the LA Poker Classic and continued throughout that year to hit the smaller tournaments at such locations as the Venetian in Las Vegas and another LA card room, the Bicycle Casin
  21. "Shawn" Martirosian from Woodland Hills, California headed into Day 6 of the 2014 World Series Main Event tied for 20th place out of the 79 remaining players with a 3,565,000-chip stack. He finished the Main Event in 38th place for $186,000. Until the 2014 Main Event, Martirosian was not well known outside of California, with all of his $376,000 of live poker tournament winnings occurring within his home state. Martirosian's biggest live cash prior to the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event came in February 2012 when he took 18th place in the $10,000 buy-in WPT LA Poker Classic for a
  22. In breaking news, PokerStars, the world's largest online poker site, has entered a formal agreement with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and three of the largest card clubs in California to supply online poker software and infrastructure when and if the industry is regulated in the state. The Bicycle Casino, Commerce Casino, and Hawaiian Gardens joined Morongo in partnering with PokerStars when and if the time comes. The latter will "serve as the subcontractor providing the online poker platform and related servicesfor a real money online poker website to be licensed, owned, and operate
  23. California lawmakers and a limited number of Golden State gambling stakeholders met Wednesday in the California Senate and Assembly Governmental Organization Committees for a Joint Informational Hearing on the gaming industry. Internet gambling, however, was not the main topic on the agenda and was hardly discussed. Visit PocketFives' California poker community for the latest news and discussion from California players. After years of watching online gambling bills come and go without so much as a vote, the state's gambling interests might well be on the verge of another impasse over the t
  24. Don't break out the bubbly just yet, but Monday was a momentous day for United States online poker, as California's Assembly Governmental Organization Committee unanimously passed a pro-online poker bill, moving it to the floor of the full Assembly. The bill, AB 431, aims to legalize and regulate intrastate online poker in California. Not only did the bill pass out of the committee, but this was actually the first time that an internet poker bill had ever even been voted upon in a committee in the Golden State. Various state legislators and stakeholders have been trying to get online poker
  25. On Thursday, history was made in California, as AB 431, a shell bill calling for licensing and regulating online poker, passed the California Assembly Appropriations Committee. Gambling Compliance's Chris Krafcik pointed out that it might sit idle for the foreseeable future, however, Tweeting, "Bill heads to Assembly floor, where it will remain inactive until after upcoming hearings." Further hearings on internet gambling and online poker are scheduled in California in June and July, so that's when we'd expect more movement on AB 431 and others like it. According to Krafcik, "The one-pag
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