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The Poker Legislation Forum, Brought to You by the PPA Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 02-25-2012, 02:49 PM   #16
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by DeNutza View Post
email Sen Wright (must provide Inglewood or Hawthorne zip code, 90250 should work).

Explain the need for % rake over current "drop" offered in Ca. Brick & Mortar is one topic that needs to be addressed!


http://legplcms01****.ca.gov/PublicLC...?district=SD25
I have to strongly disagree. From a player perspective a fixed charge per-hand is, by far, superior to percentages. Once you start entering into percentages, increments and caps you massively complicate the issue and open the door for sites to market 'low rake' that is actually some of the highest in the industry, as is currently happening in the unregulated online poker market. There's no room for BS when one site says we charge $5 per flop and the other says we charge $4 per flop.

If we want to even dream of competition we need players to be able to easily and effectively determine how much they will pay on one site versus another. Per-hand percentage systems make that impossible. The companies are in this game for the money. If the online rake is $5/flop and $1 for no flop hands then the sites will be ghost towns outside of very high stakes. I'm sure they'll figure out how to remedy that.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:34 PM   #17
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by 2DMB2LIV View Post
PX, what is your opinion on the level of true competition allowed by the bill?
It looks very good as it allows every current CA gambling licensee (cardroom, Indian casino, racetrack and OTB) to get an online license. Of course, the $30M prepayment will be a barrier to some. But really, you don't need a whole lot of licensees - probably on the order of ten - to generate a highly competitive marketplace that will benefit the consumers. Since many of the offshore sites, as well as those being acquired by the US slot makers, will be allowed to supply the hardware/software systems (especially those that get a NV license), there should be a good choice of networks to play on. And I can foresee deals where the network suppliers themselves front the lion's share of the $30M, enabling more licensees to enter the market.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

Thanks, I have to say it's very reassuring to have someone like you be that positive about the bill.

I just hope the player pool will be large enough to sustain good traffic or that we'll move in the direction of interstate iPoker soon; The fact that the bill has provisions to allow that to happen is definitely a great thing.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:42 PM   #19
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by pianospike View Post
I'm concerned that this will require a rake sheet that is the size of a large novel, given the diversity of games and stakes that can be offered online.
Pretty much what we already have on the offshore sites. No reason to think that the CA system will be any more complex.

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Plus, it will make California players incompatible with other states later on down the road.
That's what computers are for - they'll be able to handle the disparities between jurisdictions. Of course, this is one of the strong arguments for a federal bill over state-by-state.

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Laws can always be changed.
In this case, such a change will pull the lynch pin of CA gambling laws. It will be very hard to say that percentage games are allowed online but not live. I doubt there will be any political will to pursue such a change in CA.

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It's in both the casino's and player's interests to see this one changed. We should try to push for this, imo.
That's arguable. As Do It Right points out, the percentage method is much more complex and liable to deceive the consumer. The per-hand charge is a lot more transparent, forcing sites to openly compete on equal terms.

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Aside from that, thank you PX as always for your thoughts and comments.
YW!
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #20
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by 2DMB2LIV View Post
Thanks, I have to say it's very reassuring to have someone like you be that positive about the bill.

I just hope the player pool will be large enough to sustain good traffic or that we'll move in the direction of interstate iPoker soon; The fact that the bill has provisions to allow that to happen is definitely a great thing.
YW. Just be sure to keep an eye on updates. Amendments to the bill in legislative committee and/or floor debate are inevitable.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:25 PM   #21
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by pianospike View Post
I'm concerned that this will require a rake sheet that is the size of a large novel, given the diversity of games and stakes that can be offered online. Plus, it will make California players incompatible with other states later on down the road. Laws can always be changed. It's in both the casino's and player's interests to see this one changed. We should try to push for this, imo.

Aside from that, thank you PX as always for your thoughts and comments.
I think there is some confusion about pooling of players.

Let's say both CA and (say) FL pass intrastate poker bills. Initially CA players can only play on CA sites and FL players can only play on FL sites.

Now assume 4 years down the road, they decide to pool their players. This doesn't mean the the sites have to merge. All it means is that CA players would be free to play on FL sites and vice versa. The sites that had the best playing conditions would attract players from the other state (rake, volume, software, w/e). Suffice it to say, neither CA nor FL would do this if their own sites were non competitive with the other state's.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:29 PM   #22
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

Thanks for the analysis/cliffs. So how long until this passes, if it passes? Assuming it passes, how long until Californians can play a hand?

IIRC it's taking NV's regulators 6 months (Oct 2011 - April 8 2012) to approve regulations, then they will spend another few months licensing?
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:32 PM   #23
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by Do it Right View Post
I have to strongly disagree. From a player perspective a fixed charge per-hand is, by far, superior to percentages. Once you start entering into percentages, increments and caps you massively complicate the issue and open the door for sites to market 'low rake' that is actually some of the highest in the industry, as is currently happening in the unregulated online poker market. There's no room for BS when one site says we charge $5 per flop and the other says we charge $4 per flop.

If we want to even dream of competition we need players to be able to easily and effectively determine how much they will pay on one site versus another. Per-hand percentage systems make that impossible. The companies are in this game for the money. If the online rake is $5/flop and $1 for no flop hands then the sites will be ghost towns outside of very high stakes. I'm sure they'll figure out how to remedy that.
When you say "per hand charge", I assume that you are suggesting the fee is "raked" out of the pot (and that is what most people would assume as well).

Idea (!?): charge every player per hand. So instead of taking, say, $2 out of the pot, take $0.25 from every player dealt in prior to the hand being played. Time instead of rake. You could never do this at a casino, but it could be done online.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #24
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
I've read through the bill and can say that I like it. I find the bill is very well written.

Contrary to Russ's comments, I find that there are numerous protections for players (protecting player funds, cheating, fraud, privacy, appealing site actions, bots, etc.) spelled out in the bill and that there is a good balance between players interests, site interests and government revenues. There are also provisions which specifically allow multi-tabling and allow combined player pools for liquidity. The bill authors obviously have an intimate and accurate understanding of player concerns.

...

Personally, I support this bill in its current form. It has almost everything I look for in a state bill:

Player protections.
Reasonable site taxes, based on revenues.
Open market competition.
Inter-jurisdictional player pools.
I've now slowly re-read the measure. Overall, I agree with PokerXanadu: The legislation as currently written is about as good as we could hope for in California. But as PX mentioned, the legislation that eventually passes (assuming this passes) will likely look far different as amendments are inevitable.

Additionally, this legislation is marked as "urgency," so it requires a 2/3 vote of both houses of the legislature. That means some Republicans will have to come on board or the legislation won't go through.

Finally, just remember what the Democrats' motives are. This is a revenue-raising measure first and foremost. Do they care one iota about poker? No. They care about their constituents/backers (the unions and Indian tribes). It just happens that their goals (raising money) and our goal (legalized poker) happen to coincide.

-- Russ Fox
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:02 PM   #25
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by Do it Right View Post
I have to strongly disagree. From a player perspective a fixed charge per-hand is, by far, superior to percentages. Once you start entering into percentages, increments and caps you massively complicate the issue and open the door for sites to market 'low rake' that is actually some of the highest in the industry, as is currently happening in the unregulated online poker market. There's no room for BS when one site says we charge $5 per flop and the other says we charge $4 per flop.

If we want to even dream of competition we need players to be able to easily and effectively determine how much they will pay on one site versus another. Per-hand percentage systems make that impossible. The companies are in this game for the money. If the online rake is $5/flop and $1 for no flop hands then the sites will be ghost towns outside of very high stakes. I'm sure they'll figure out how to remedy that.
Currently I play on a site where the cash games are raked at 5% up to a maximum of $3. That is generally the rake schedule for cash games, though the micros are raked a bit more at 6.67%. I'm not following how that very simple rake structure (to me, anyway) is more complex than a rake per hand structure, where you likely need a different per hand charge for every level or every two levels. $.02/$.05 would be raked at x per hand, $.05/$.10 would be raked as 2x per hand, and so on. I understand that you may not see a different per-hand charge at every level, but to be fair you should have that.

I also don't get how a fixed charge per hand is, by far, superior to percentages. Putting aside the fact that you would need to know the percentages charged versus the charges per hand to attempt to validate that statement, as a player, I don't think it is beneficial to have a $5 pot raked the same as a $60 pot. It's necessary live because percentages are hard to calculate on the fly.

Maybe this isn't a big deal. But every time I play live and I'm staring at a $10 or $15 pot on the flop and thinking about whether to cbet air, I think why bother when I'm only going to keep 1/3 to 1/2 of the pot and lose the rest to rake.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:03 PM   #26
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

CA is big state with lots of gamblers, LV helps bring that out and lots of casinos. Any fear of lack of fish, is clearly not an issue, if merge as a fish left out on the tables this will be a feeding trough.

At least the sights will set the rake and if enough sites, it should be reasonable or rakeback can come in to help the rake. Still frightening but getting money off in a day, able to plan long term. Future of bigger pools .. all is good. Now how to all the interests at the table feel. We are spectators, but so far the show as started well. Thanks for the review it helps to sort out the good and the bad.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:51 PM   #27
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

Looks pretty solid, thanks for the cliffs.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:56 PM   #28
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by pianospike View Post
Currently I play on a site where the cash games are raked at 5% up to a maximum of $3. That is generally the rake schedule for cash games, though the micros are raked a bit more at 6.67%. I'm not following how that very simple rake structure (to me, anyway) is more complex than a rake per hand structure, where you likely need a different per hand charge for every level or every two levels. $.02/$.05 would be raked at x per hand, $.05/$.10 would be raked as 2x per hand, and so on. I understand that you may not see a different per-hand charge at every level, but to be fair you should have that.

I also don't get how a fixed charge per hand is, by far, superior to percentages. Putting aside the fact that you would need to know the percentages charged versus the charges per hand to attempt to validate that statement, as a player, I don't think it is beneficial to have a $5 pot raked the same as a $60 pot. It's necessary live because percentages are hard to calculate on the fly.

Maybe this isn't a big deal. But every time I play live and I'm staring at a $10 or $15 pot on the flop and thinking about whether to cbet air, I think why bother when I'm only going to keep 1/3 to 1/2 of the pot and lose the rest to rake.
This is one of the advantages of taking the rake from the players' stacks as opposed to out of the pot. Now if you steal one of these orphan pots, you get to keep the whole pot. Promotes action.

It doesn't have to be every player either. It could just be a fixed fee paid by the button - this is fair since the button rotates.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:57 PM   #29
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

Oops wrong numbers glad you fixed it early thanks.

Awesome, was expecting worse so im kind of pleased with this bill. I know it's all speculation but I would love to hear any informed opinions on how long this will take to pass. Or even just what's the earliest is could possibly pass if they wanted to rush it through. Thanks
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:25 PM   #30
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Re: California Senate leader co-sponsors Internet gambling bill

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Originally Posted by Russ Fox
]6. No limit to the number of licensees, but they must be either an authorized cardroom in the state (i.e. Commerce, Bike, etc.), an Indian tribe operating a casino in CA, a horse-racing track in CA, or an online entity taking bets on horse racing in CA.
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Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
Until January 1, 2016 (or longer if extended by the legislature), a finding of suitability of a licensee or supplier by any US state gaming agency can be accepted provisionally by CA, and later issued a permanent okay. In other words, any company currently licensed or found suitable by any US state gaming agency can be provisionally allowed to operate in CA immediately. So, once regulations are in place, sites can go operational immediately instead of having to wait for the CA agency to complete processing of their applications.
How can both these things be true?
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