Friday August 8,2014 : SECOND CALIFORNIA POKER LEGALISATION BILL PULLED
Hopes dashed for a 2014 breakthrough on internet poker.
Barely a day after California state Senator Lou Correa announced the demise of his bill SB1366 seeking to legalise online poker in the Golden State , a second and similar bill has been withdrawn by proposer Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer.
Members of the Assemblyman's staff said Thursday that the reasons for the withdrawal were similar to those cited by Correa – too little time to reconcile the views of competing interests that include card rooms and tribal groups before the August 31 deadline for measures in this legislative season.
Both bills – the only online poker legalization measures currently before the California legislature, had been stuck at committee stage for months as politicians tried to find a way around the diverse demands of vested interest groups.
A spokesman for Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer held out hope for another attempt to legalise in the next legislative season, beginning in December, saying that the Assemblyman had not abandoned the project and was committed to reintroducing his bill as a priority in the new session.
In the meantime talks would continue to try and find a compromise that would enable all parties to move forward, he said.
The spokesman said the main points of contention at present were whether a "bad actor" clause should be included in order to exclude certain companies from the Californian market, and whether horse racing tracks should be permitted to participate in what could be a lucrative market.
Sen. Correa will not be around next session due to term limits on his political career, but there is talk of other initiatives still in the wings, including a proposal by an influential tribal group that has been circulated but has yet to be presented to the legislature.