California poker bill to include horse racing concession

By Gareth Bracken
Amendments to Assemblyman Adam Gray's California online poker bill include a notable concession to the Golden State's horse racing industry.

AB 431 would grant 95% of the first $60m collected from online poker each fiscal year to California racing, with the tracks then excluded from the state's online poker market.

New language also means that AB 431 would become an urgency statute, meaning that once it had passed both chambers of the California Legislature with two-thirds of the vote in each it would immediately go into effect once signed into law by the governor.

California online poker would be taxed at 15% of gross revenue, while card clubs and state tribes with at least five years of gaming experience would qualify for licensing.

There is a deadline of 19 February for bills to be introduced in 2016.

OnlinePokerReport.com has reported that while California tribes have "agreed in principle" to limited licences to tribes and card rooms while providing the subsidy to racing, they have stopped short of fully supporting AB 431.
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