Online Poker Bills in California Dead For Now

Online Poker Bills in California Dead For NowTwo previously introduced online poker bills in California have likely reached their demise, with resubmitted proposals expected in February.

Both SB 678 and SB 51 will reportedly land in the muck this month, with the next legislative session in February possibly seeing up to three new bills introduced. While the Golden State’s powerful Indian tribes have been holding up online poker legislation progress for years, indications are that tribal leaders may finally be on the same page, eGR reported.

The likelihood that an Internet poker proposal will be approved in 2014 is still questionable, as several noted gaming authorities have spoken out previously that it will be difficult for lawmakers to agree on such a bill during an election year. Whittier Law School Professor I. Nelson Rose believes that a greater possibility of Californians playing regulated online poker will occur in 2015.

Senator Roderick Wright sponsored SB 51, which was very similar to a previous bill that he co-sponsored with Senator Darrell Steinberg. But Wright has run into trouble that may be taking him away from concentrating on Internet poker legislation. He is facing charges of voter fraud and perjury for allegedly failing to reside in the district that he represents.

SB 678, the Authorization and Regulation of Internet Poker and Consumer Protection Act of 2013, was introduced by Senator Lou Correa about 11 months ago. That proposal gave the California Gambling Control Commission the authority to establish a framework for online poker in the state.

California has more than four times as many residents as New Jersey, which would allow the state to operate a number of online poker sites that would likely dwarf the revenue numbers recently released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Other states such as New Jersey and Nevada would jump at the opportunity to combine player pools with California, but indications are that the Golden State will run its online poker scheme on an intrastate format.

However, that speculation appears to be premature, as California is at this time nowhere near passing Internet poker legislation. Another round of bills will likely be introduced next month, with the prospects of advancement perhaps closer than years past. But, maybe not close enough considering that elections will take center stage later this year. Check our [geolink href=””]California poker[/geolink] page for the latest updates and more detailed information.

Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett