Sunday JUne 7,2015 : RUMOUR MILL CASTS A SHADOW OVER CALIFORNIA POKER BILL (Update)
Senator allegedly pessimistic, but Assemblymen soldier on.
Following the negative advertising against Pokerstars by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians last week a lobbyist has cast further doubts on the chances of a legalised online poker bill passing in California.
The lobbyist, David Quintana, represents the California Tribal Business Alliance and told the publication Capitol Weekly Friday that state Senator Isadore Hall, chair of the California Senate Government Organization Committee, had disclosed that he has put a hold on hearings for any online poker legalization bills this year.
Where that leaves Hall, whose committee is scheduled to participate in at least one joint informational hearing with the Assembly equivalent of his committee on the subject, is uncertain.
Hall has yet to confirm Quintana's claim, but Capitol Weekly revealed that another, and unidentified, source had made a similar report.
If true, Hall's reluctance to proceed is a blow to legalization. Along with his Assembly counterpart Adam Gray, Hall has been professional and impartial in shepherding the currently favoured bill, AB431, through two committees…the best performance yet for such a measure in California.
There are currently four legalization proposals before the state Legislature, with Assemblyman Gray's AB431 the furthest progressed so far.
Gray continues to insist that his bill remains active and that a consensus is still being sought with interested parties, who include Pokerstars, tribal groups with diverse views, the state racetrack industry and major California card rooms.
Meanwhile, Pokerstars and Amaya Gaming corporate communications chief, Eric Hollreiser, has responded rather dismissively to the provocative behaviour of the Viejas tribe, tweeting that its "lies and fear-mongering" are motivated by desperation, but apparently doing little else to ameliorate the attack….that could be a mistake.