California continues to debate the possibility of legalizing online poker and industry analysts are hopefully that a decision will be made in 2015. The state of California is in the process of reviewing an online poker legislation that was rolled out by California assemblyman Mike Gatto.
Gatto initially put forward a bill that required online poker players in California to complete an in-person registration process. One of the reasons for this stringent stipulation was to ensure that all registered players are within the state of California and there is no room for loopholes.
However, this section of the bill did not go down well with online poker players in California who felt that the in-person registration process was cumbersome and would hinder players from signing up. Industry analysts requested Gatto to amend the in-process registration stipulation and advised him to make the process as simple as possible to ensure that online poker players in California have the ability to register without any delays.
Mike Gatto took this feedback into consideration and decided that it would be in the best interests of the online poker community in California to amend the bill.
In a statement, Gatto said
After meeting with security experts and hearing from poker players and industry professionals, I have concluded that online poker would be best served by making in-person registration an option rather than a requirement. State of the art technology currently used by operators in other states when registering players accesses many of the same databases used by financial institutions to verify the identity of registrants and prevent fraud.
The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) along with a number of online poker players were happy with the new amendment. Gatto wants to make the registration process in-person as well as online, giving poker players the option to choose the one that is the most convenient for them.
Gatto believes that by opening up in-person registration at brick & mortar casinos, California casinos will be able to generate more player traffic and the in-person registration process will also ensure that there is no under-age signups.
Illegal online poker websites pose a huge challenge to the regulated online poker industry. This is because online poker players are prepared to take the risk and play at these illegal poker websites because there are no taxes and the prizes are a lot more attractive. Gatto wants to address this issue by making it a felony for those online gambling providers who operate without a license.