Saturday March 2,2014 : OPTIMISM ON CALIFORNIAN ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION
New hearing scheduled soon.
Delegates at last week's i-gaming legislative symposium in Sacramento were told by a variety of speakers that momentum is building for the intrastate legalization of online poker in California, with consensus growing between rival tribal factions that have derailed attempts in the past.
One speaker revealed that there are plans for an "informational hearing" by a committee of the state legislature soon.
Another said that the recent resignation of influential politician Rod Wright following criminal proceedings had cleared the way for wider agreement.
And the possible advent of a new federal banning bill that includes online poker being introduced in Congress by Senator Lindsey Graham might add more pressure for a state solution.
Recentpoker.com readers will recall that there are at present two intrastate online poker legalization bills before the California legislature; SB1366 introduced by state Sen. Lou Correa, who is now chairman of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, and SB 2291 sponsored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer.
Both have strong tribal support, and Correa's more protectionist bill is being pushed by many of the state's commercial card rooms.
The head of California's Gambling Control Commission, Richard Schuetz, told delegates to the symposium that the Commission was charged by the state governor three years ago to get up to speed on developments in the world of online gambling and has since achieved what he described as "literacy" in the sector.
That has included a full understanding of the channel and the development of a global database on regulation, supported by fact-finding visits in the United States and around the world to learn from the experience of others involved in the development, implementation and enforcement of regulatory systems.
“The point I am trying to make is that we're trying to get this right," said Shuetz. "I've tried to explain that the stakes are huge, and we think we can get it right ourselves. I'm a Californian, and I believe between us and our tribal partners, we can get this right."