Friday July 11,2014 : CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE DEADLINE LOOMS CLOSER
Not much time to get online poker legalization bill through the state legislature.
Two online poker intrastate legalization bills that have been languishing at committee stage for months could be running out of time, reports the publication California Gambler.
The reason is the absolute state legislative deadline of August 31, which could mean that bills not passed by Senate and House by that date are scrapped and have to be reintroduced from scratch in the next legislative season.
It's a not unfamiliar scenario in California, where various factions have attempted to get legalization bills through for the past five years, only to see them defeated by heated political and interested party squabbling.
The current bills in the state legislature are authored by Senator Lou Correa and Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, and there is a bill from tribal interests reportedly waiting in the wings that has yet to be introduced
Exacerbating the differences this year is the alliance of major card rooms and the influential Morongo tribe with online poker giant Pokerstars, which is anxious to use its new Amaya ownership to access the huge California poker market.
The partnership is opposing the UIGEA "bad actor" clauses that are again being used to exclude serious competition like Pokerstars from a Californian market that various vested interests want to keep for themselves.
The alliance wants to see experienced and knowledgeable regulators, rather than politicians, decide on practical grounds who should have a licence.
With a little less than six weeks to go to the deadline, it is increasingly possible that 2014 may be yet another frustrating year in which political manoeuvring sidelines the prospect of California joining Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada as legal online gambling centres.