Thursday April 16,2015 : CALIFORNIA ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION : HEARINGS PLANNED (Update)
With four legalization bills on the table before the legislature, joint committee hearings are being set up.
It looks like another very active California legislative season for online poker legalization as politicians warm up for yet another year of trying to reach consensus and pass a workable online poker legalization measure.
InfoPowa readers will recall that there are currently four bills on the table. Two of these, introduced by Senator Isadore Hall and Assemblyman Adam Gray (who are the respective chairs of the Senate and Assembly Government Organization Committees) are less controversial and lack detail at this stage, steering clear of exclusionary clauses that have so bedevilled progress in previous years.
The other bills have taken positions that have created opposition in past years; Assemblyman Mike Gatto's proposal has exclusionary "bad actor" provisions and seeks to restrict licensing to tribal groups and California cardrooms, whilst Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer's bill is less restrictive but wants to allow the state racetracks in on the online poker market – anathema to some of the tribal interests.
Achieving some sort of working consensus on these conflicting imperatives for such a wide range of interests is again proving extremely difficult.
Local media reports indicate that Hall and Gray are planning to hold joint Assembly and Senate hearings on the bills under the aegis of the Government Organization Committee, although dates and witness lists have yet to be set.
The hearings will initially be of an informational nature for the benefit of the many new Senate and Assembly committee members this year.