Next week, the state of California is scheduled to host a hearing on the subject of online poker. It has now come to light that Assemblyman Mike Gatto has decided to cancel the hearing of his Assembly Bill 9, for online poker. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday and currently still has AB9 as well as AB 167, the bill presented by Reggie Jones-Sawyer, on the schedule.
In a statement released by Gatto, he discusses the cancellation of the hearing of his bill. The Assemblyman believes the cancelation is the right thing to do due to there being no consensus on the issue as of yet. The bill has an ‘urgency’ clause and can be resuscitated any time.
Gatto further stated that within the last three years, he has met with representatives from various software providers, gaming tribes, card rooms, online poker operators and racetrack officials to get their opinion of online poker. Gatto’s goal is a consensus on the matter and he does not have plans to move forward with legislation until he sees a common ground on the subject.
Every group in the state of California, from card rooms to racetracks and Indian tribes, cannot seem to come to an agreement as to how online poker should be regulated within the state. Some wish to see racetracks kept out of the loop while others want to see such operators as PokerStars kept from gaining licensing via Bad Actor Clauses in legislation.
Until the groups come to some form of compromise, there will always be contention within the industry. California showed potential in the past to be the next state to offer online poker but now, with no common ground, the state has fallen behind and Pennsylvania looks to be the next on the path to joining Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware to offer online poker gaming.
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