Start Poker Conference: Online Poker Legislation in the State of California

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why ?
A: The online poker industry in various areas of the United States is on the verge of a legalization explosion. One of the states leading fight to legalize Online Poker is the State of . Bills were attempted to be submitted to the State legislature in the Summer of 2009 to legalize internet poker within . It is expected that a bill will be submitted in January of 2010.

So Why ? Simply put, needs tax revenue. Unlike the Federal Government, which is able to go into debt, States are not allowed. The State of is currently running a USD $21 Billion deficit. Hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts are being cancelled. State offices are closed 2 Fridays a month to save money. Some state employees are not being paid. Article's referring to the crisis at the State Controller's office call the current situation not an emergency, but "triage."

The online poker industry, with an estimated 1.5 to 3 Million current online poker players has offered to pay taxes to Sacramento (estimated to be at $500 Million to $1 Billion annually from ns). For this to happen, online poker must become licensed and regulated. As desperately needs the money, and the internet poker industry strongly desires to be licensed and taxed in the State. For both sides, this is a "no-brainer." Unlike previous attempts to legislate, this bill has a sense of urgency due to the fiscal crisis. If the legislature elects not to act, then poker players will continue to play offshore, and the state will realize zero revenue. It has been assessed by many legal experts that such a bill will pass and go into effect with extreme rapidity. Thus, the legislature, the California Indian Tribes (such as CNIGA & CTBA) and the Card Rooms need to iron out regulations and a bill, projected to pass sometime as early as 2010. Such legislation would represent for Poker industry executives and entrepreneurs one of the most lucrative business opportunities currently in the nation.


Q: What is the StartPoker Conference?
A: The StartPoker Conference will be a business event allowing for government-level and business networking. Using a pragmatic style, it will also cover in-depth the pending legislation. It will also focus on what will be the expected procedures for licensing. Software will be shown as well. Since 2003, our company has provided some of the largest gaming related the largest trade shows and conferences for the online gaming industry.


Q: Who will attend the StartPoker Conference?
A: StartPoker Conference will be attended by senior executives from the following groups:

  • Legislators (Senate and House)
  • Attorney General's Office Representatives
  • State Comptroller's Office Representatives
  • Governor's Office Representatives
  • Tribal Casino Owners
  • Card Room Owners
  • Poker Software Providers
  • Online Poker Executives
  • Hosting Companies
  • Financial, Payment Processing and Banking Executives
  • Attorneys
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Online marketing Executives specializing in Poker
  • Advocacy Groups



  • Q: Why is the StartPoker Conference so important?
    A: A) If you are an Entrepreneur, Poker Software Provider, Hosting Company or Financial Executive:
    This event is a golden opportunity to get into this business early. You will meet with the legislators and begin understanding potential licensing requirements and regulations before the public is aware. Licensing or software acceptance in gaming requires strong familiarity levels for approval. Meeting these people before everyone else does is important.

    If you are a poker software supplier, payment processor or a hosting company, this is your chance to start planning business negotiations with the California tribes and card rooms. They will be inundated with offers once legislation passes. You may not have this opportunity again to meet the decision makers face to face.

    B) If you are a Card Room Owner or a Tribal Casino Executive:
    This event is needed for you to affect the legislation and hammer out your needed items. You will meet with the legislators and begin to learn the licensing requirements and expected regulations before the public is aware.

    Tribal casino executives and card room owners will have a chance to see both the software and technical solutions available. You will be able to gauge the comfort level of these technologies with the legislators as well. In this way, you will be able to plan and negotiate early for online operations and be one of the first to go live.

    First is all that matters when it comes to marketing on the internet. First is the difference of $150 Million in wagers annually versus $20 Million.

    C) If you are a Legislator or a Regulator: While the bill is being morphed into something that all parties will accept, you will have the ability to see the technology and select the type that best fits your needs. You will be able to see technologies available to protect children from playing Poker online. You will be able to meet the Tribal Leaders, Card Room Owners, and service providers looking to be in this business. In this way, you will have both more knowledge and more comfort with the amendments to the bill to make it successfully pass the legislature.


    Q: What can I expect at the StartPoker Conference?
    A: A) Knowledge: You will find out the current state of the legislation. You will learn what the legislators need from the public, operators and suppliers. You will learn of the upside and potential pitfalls with the proposed legislation.

    B) Networking: This is probably your ONE chance to get to meet the proper people and INFLUENCE decisions. The legislation is projected to move very rapidly through the House and Senate. Once passed, there will be a mad rush for establishing and creating licenses. Those involved with the creation, licensing, implementation, and execution of this legislation, in whatever form it will end up taking, will probably be here in Los Angeles on this day.

    B) Start: Like our site name implies, the event is the beginning, the ground floor. You will be able to start planning based on whom you meet and what you learn here.


    Q: Will the legislation for internet poker pass?
    A: Its politics, so anything can happen. But the odds are very much against it failing. As with any legislature, money has major influence. Financial stress on at this time is enormous. Right now, this is the only new industry asking to be taxed. Since online poker can clearly produce significant revenues for the state, it makes the prospects for legislation highly likely.

    Legal experts say the major hurdles will most likely be the following:

    A) Protection of Minors: As security protection software has been around for nearly a decade, this should be a mere formality with the Legislators.

    B) Tribes: Politics in isn't easy. The relation with the legislature and the Tribes have always complicated things. The tribes are generally considered pro-online poker, but may have some caveats. You will have the ability to speak with and understand them at the StartPoker Conference.

    C) Card Rooms: At one time in the past there were ~360 card rooms licensed in the State of . Today there are 90. About 12 to 15 of these are quite large rooms, and also significant political players. The remainder are small poker card rooms. Most of the small ones are located in bars. The large card rooms also will want a stake in this market...and possibly protection from outside competitors.


    Q: If the bill for internet poker passes, what does this mean?
    It will mean that Online Poker will be LEGAL in the State of . Currently an estimated 1.5 to 3 million people will play poker online. The number will most likely be higher and will grow in licensed online poker rooms. The licenses will be granted to poker rooms from the State of based on the text in the legislation. The companies provided with the online poker licenses stand to make enormous profits.

    It will also mean that those that get licensed in will need software, hosting, payment mechanisms, fraud detection and other items required to run a successful online poker business.


    Q: What does it mean if the bill fails in the legislature?
    For not to act, the poker players will continue to play, and the state will see no revenue. Profits will continue to go offshore. And will be no better at digging itself out of the $21 Billion budget deficit hole it is in.


    Q: How much does it cost to register and what does a registration pass include?
    A: If you register before December 4, 2009, the registration fee is USD $700. After December 4, 2009, the cost increases to USD $850. We do have special pricing for Government employees and Tribal Members. However, the pricing is available only for pre-registration prior to December 4, 2009. Government employees and/or Tribal Members will and must be verified to obtain the discount. A registration pass includes access to the StartPoker Conference exhibit hall at the SLS Hotel, all StartPoker Conference seminars as well as all official StartPoker Conference associated social events taking place during the event. Lunch, morning and afternoon snacks are provided for both days.


    Q: What if I want to register in person at the event?
    A: At-Door registration begins on December 7, 2009 at 7:45 AM. We recommend you get there early as there will be a long line of people looking to purchase passes at the front door. That is why we recommend registering online early. You save both money and time at the event.


    Q: Will you be mailing me my badge or do I pick it up at the SLS Hotel?
    A: You must pick up your badge in person at the conference registration desk the morning of the event. Please bring government issued photo identification (for verification purposes only). Registration badges are not mailed.


    Q: What if I lose my badge during the event?
    A: At this event your badge is your access to the StartPoker Conference. With it, you can enter the exhibit hall, the seminar rooms and attend other outside social events. Badges cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. If you need to purchase a replacement badge at the event the cost will be USD $850.


    Q: Do you offer discounted passes for the exhibit hall only?
    A: No. The conference pass includes all that was stated above. There is only one registration fee.


    Q: Do you offer single day passes? Is the admission price for one day or all days?
    A: The admission price is for all days. There are no day passes.


    Q: What if I want to meet someone at the StartPoker Conference that has no badge and does not plan to register for the StartPoker Conference?
    A: This is a closed event. The exhibit hall, seminar rooms, meeting rooms and some areas of will be the forum where StartPoker Conference delegates conduct business. Only StartPoker Conference registrants will be allowed in these areas with NO exceptions.


    Q: Do I have to give you my real name? I don't want it to appear on my badge.
    A: We require your real first and last name for identification purposes only. We will place the name you would like to appear on the badge at the registration desk.


    Q: I plan to bring my family to Los Angeles so that we will have a vacation time after the event. Can my spouse and children accompany me into the event?
    A: No. This is a closed event open to registered StartPoker Conference delegates only. You can register your spouse, however children under 18 years of age will not be registered and will not be admitted to the event.


    Q: I am from another country and require a Visa to go to the event. How do I get a Visa Invitation letter from StartPoker Conference?
    A: You must first register for your conference pass. Upon receipt of payment, email us a request for a visa invitation letter. Please include your name, full mailing address and fax number. We will then fax you the invitation letter.


    Q: I am from the media. Do you offer media passes to the event?
    A: Media Access at this event will be limited and restricted at times. If you are with the major media (examples are: CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Times of London, National Public Radio, Business Week Magazine, etc.), then email us with your name, the name and address of the media publication, the name of your editor and his contact details. Upon confirmation, we will contact you and advise if you are approved to have a media pass to the event. If you are an industry or trade publication, please note that we have pre-arranged co-promotional agreements with other trade publications. Our co-promotional agreements are done months in advance. If you are contacting us for the first time just prior to the event, you will need to register and pay for your pass.


    Q: Do you provide a list of the delegate names and companies?
    A: No. This event is attended by tribal members, wealthy entrepreneurs, politicians and executives that do not wish to give out their names or contact details to others they do not know. Our top sponsors are not provided with a copy of the delegate list.


    Q: How do I make appointments in advance of the event with delegates attending?
    A: We strongly recommend you use the official Message Boards/Forums at for the event. Announce that you are coming and what you have to offer. Your post will be read and meetings can be made in advance.


    Q: I pre-registered and I'm unable to attend. Can I get a refund?
    A: No. All sales are final and there is no refund for cancellation. Our cancellation policy is listed on the terms and conditions page for registering at the event.


    Q: I want to exhibit or sponsor at the StartPoker Conference. What can I do?

    A: View the Sponsorship Packages that we have available and contact us by telephone at USA +1 (212) 722-1744 ext. 4 or email us with your inquiry.


    If you have any additional questions about attending that were not addressed on this web page please email us