While interested parties in online poker gaming within California still need to come to some consensus as to how the option should be legalized within the state, movement is being made on the legislative front. The California Assembly Appropriations Committee has passed AB 431, allowing the measure to move past a second committee within the state.
AB 431 is a shell bill that calls for licensing and regulations to be made in California in regards to online poker. The shell bill is only one page and states that any measure on online poker in the future that is adopted by legislature must ensure consumer protection as well as be in compliance with the federal as well as state law.
According to numerous reports, such as one at PocketFives, Chris Krafcik of Gambling Compliance tweeted that the AB 431 bill will head to the Assembly floor where it will be inactive until after the upcoming hearings. Additional hearings are schedule on the subject of iPoker for June and July.
There is still much work to be done as the state must see stakeholders interested in the industry putting aside differences to work on what will be in the best interest of the state. California would be a major player in the online poker industry of the United States but tribes, card rooms and race tracks cannot seem to come to an agreement as to what should be allowed in regards to who should be licensed to operate within the state’s borders.
The main issue is whether to allow race tracks to participate in online gaming. Officials of the race tracks want to be involved while certain tribes do not believe the race tracks have any reason to become involved. Bad actor clauses are also on the table as an issue between invested parties but the tribal interests seemed to have given some leeway in this category, but hold on to their stance against race tracks online poker participation.
The movement of AB 431 is a victory for online poker within the state and in the coming weeks with the scheduled hearings, we should be able to see just how the state plans on entering the online gambling industry of the US.
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