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California Internet Poker Statute (2008)

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Initiative 1256. (07-0017), also known as Pothole Repair Funded by Online Poker Act was a statutory initiative that would have established State Online Poker Games. The site would have generated revenue through “rake” (a percentage amount of funds wagered by players) and tournament entry fees. Players would have to be at least 21 years of age and reside in

  1. California
  2. Other states and localities where local law does not prohibit participation.

The measure provided that the state may enter into revenue-sharing and similar agreements with other states, localities, and federally recognized Indian tribes in California related to the Internet site. Of the Internet site’s net revenues, 80 percent would be apportioned on a per capita basis to incorporated cities and towns to repair potholes and broken streets, 10 percent would be allocated to counties for pothole and street repair in unincorporated areas, and the remaining 10 percent would be allocated to a state government fund that provides moneys to organizations that assist persons with gambling addiction problems.[1]

Fiscal Impacts

  • Increase in revenues for (1) cities and counties to use for pothole and street repair and (2) the state to use for gambling addiction assistance programs. This increase could easily be in the tens of millions of dollars annually.
  • Reduction in other tax and gambling-related revenues for the state and local governments. This reduction could offset a significant amount of the net revenues from the state poker site.[2]


Anthony Sandstrom


The circulation deadline for this initiative ends 11/26/07 and requires 694,354 signatures.

As of January 10, 2008 the ballot failed to qualify for the ballot.[3]

See also