iGaming Legislative Symposium to Tackle California Online Poker

California Online Poker Battle In Focus At 2015 iGaming Legislative Symposium

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The timing of the second edition of the iGaming Legislative Symposium (IGLS) – slated for February 26 at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento, California – couldn’t be much better, coming at the crest of a wave of developments in California’s online poker saga.

California dreaming

While there have been numerous efforts in the past to regulate online poker in the state, there is renewed interest in iGaming legislation in 2015.

There are currently two bills in the state legislature that would regulate online poker — AB 9 introduced by  Assemblyman Mike Gatto in December, and AB 167 introduced by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer last month.

While the prospects of the bills are still murky, there does seem to be some momentum among many of the interests that have a stake in the possibility of online poker.

Summary of the 2015 IGLS agenda

Here are the highlights from the conference, per the symposium’s website:

  • 2014: The Year in Review: An intensive examination of how the political and operational climate changed in California over the past year, and how influences outside California had an effect on the state’s efforts to legalize iGaming.
  • The Future of iGaming in California: An in-depth discussion of the realistic prospects for legalizing Internet poker in California, how will it happen (or not), and who the winners and the losers in this debate will be.
  • Critical Issues for a Successful iGaming Rollout: An expert roundtable regarding the lessons California can learn from other jurisdictions with experience in iGaming rollout.
  • iGaming Regulation in California: As California prepares for the eventual introduction of iGaming, it must also prepare a regulatory scheme that both maintains integrity and is workable for the stakeholders. Join regulatory experts and operators in this critical discussion.
  • Legislative Initiatives: From taxation to a bad-actors clause to consumer protections, any iGaming legislation is loaded with flash points that can either doom or assure passage. This panel will share their insights on what is and isn’t resonating in the State Capitol.
  • Is iGaming More Addictive Than Land-based Gaming?: Professionals in the field of gambling addiction and treatment provide a unique perspective into the potential benefits and pitfalls for legal, responsible Internet wagering.

Speaker highlights

Some two dozen speakers are currently confirmed, including the aforementioned Gatto and other key California stakeholders such as:

You can find the full speaker list here.

Will progress be made toward passing online poker legislation at the symposium?

That might be a lofty goal. At a minimum, the symposium puts many of the stakeholders in California in the same place for a day.

Legislators, tribal interests, representatives from brick-and-mortar casinos, industry experts and online poker proponents will all be in attendance.

And that’s at least a positive step for the state and the prospects of iGaming in the future – not to mention a great place to get a read on how key stakeholders feel about said prospects.

Visit the iGaming Legislative Symposium.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.