The online gaming scene is starting to get crowded in the U.S, with more and more states seeking to pass legislation that will enable them to license operators to legalize online gaming in their states. Following last week’s passage into law of Nevada’s online gambling bill, California and Massachusetts have each tabled their own pieces of legislation that will attempt to do the same.
Senate Bill 678 was introduced on Friday, a bill which would see intra-state online poker legalized and regulated in the state of California. It’s the second piece of pending legislation regarding online gaming in the state, alongside Senate Bill 51, introduced late last year. That bill was a robust 50+ pages, and detailed in painstaking detail the way in which online poker in the state would be regulated. SB 678 on the other hand is just two pages, and simply aims to make it legal for the California Gaming Commission to set up that framework itself.
The introduction of the bill states:
“This bill would authorise the operation of Internet poker websites within the borders of this state. The bill would require the Commission to establish a regulatory framework for the licensure of eligible entities and the operation of Internet poker websites within the borders of the state.”
Meanwhile, SB 197 was introduced in Massachusetts on the same day, and would also legalize several online gambling games for licensed operators, so long as those games didn’t compete with the state-run lottery. While slot-machine style casino games would not be allowed, online poker would, as well as several other video and table games.
This move would come two years after Massachusetts legalized land-based casinos, with plans for three full casinos and one slots parlor in the state, though the licenses for those four establishments have yet to be granted to any of the eager applicants hoping to secure them.
It seems the slow acceptance of online gaming amongst politicians is beginning to snowball, and as more and more states begin to legalize online gaming, the rest will want to quickly do so, so as not to be left behind in the online gaming dark ages. California and Massachusetts are the latest two to step out of those dark shadows, but they most certainly won’t be the last.