Two online poker bills that have been languishing following introductions many months ago will likely land in the muck and be resubmitted next month.
Senator Rod Wright’s SB 51 and Senator Lou Correa’s SB 678 reportedly both face an unceremonious death this month, with new proposals likely taking their place in February, eGR reported. It is not known if both senators will be involved in introducing the anticipated new bills, but recent reports indicate that up to three measures may be lobbied before the state legislature.
Wright may have bigger fish to fry, as he testified this week on his own behalf amid allegations of voter fraud and perjury. He has been charged with residing outside of the district that he represents. Wright has been behind online poker legislation for a number of years, struggling to find a balance between the wishes of the state’s cardrooms, horsemen and Indian tribes.
It is the California tribes that wield the most power among the state’s gaming interests and those tribes have often fought amongst themselves along with failing to find common ground with the horse racing industry and cardrooms. Rumors have been circulating that the tribes may now finally be in agreement regarding online poker legislation.
Whether that new cooperation will play a role in getting Internet poker regulations approved in 2014 remains up in the air. The reason? This is an election year in California and some noted experts are of the opinion that historic legislation of that magnitude will never find approval among a majority of lawmakers who may be more concerned with appeasing their constituencies and remaining in office.
Californians may have to wait until 2015 to play regulated online poker, spending another year or so frequenting the current choices available such as Americas Cardroom, Full Flush, or Bovada. Those poker rooms continue accepting U.S. players and will likely do so even if and when regulation spreads throughout a portion of the 50 states.
As many are aware, California is the largest state in terms of population with some 37 million folks residing there. That dwarfs the numbers seen at the other states that have enacted Internet poker legislation so far, clocking in at four times greater than New Jersey, which is the largest of the three.
It’s important to note that despite a number of online poker proposals being drafted in California in recent years, lawmakers have never voted on any of them. Wright actually pulled one of his bills from the agenda of a scheduled vote, knowing full well that approval would miss the mark by a considerable margin. It is likely that that mark will be missed again in 2014.
California may be inching closer toward online poker legislation considering that tribes are slowly making progress in finding common ground. But 2014 may be yet another year of failed proposals, much to the dismay of many who would like to see the Golden State join the online poker party. Should California take the plunge, other states would probably not be far behind. Continue reading our page about the current Californian poker laws here.