California continues to struggle with legalizing online poker

CaliforniaWhile the state of California once seemed to be the next in the US to offer online poker gaming, the struggle continues for a consensus among those involved in the gaming industry. Yesterday, a hearing took place within the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee that was supposed to discuss online poker, but the subject was not included in the hearing.

Bills proposed by Assemblymen Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Mike Gatto were originally due to be discussed during the hearing but were removed from the agenda due to a lack of consensus among the gaming stakeholders within the state. This hearing was the last to take place in for the year and it is not likely that additional hearings will be added before the year ends.

The Indian tribes, card rooms and race tracks cannot seem to come to an agreement as to who should be involved in the industry if online poker is legalized within the state. In the past, it was suggested that the horse racing industry of the state should not be involved with online poker but receive a share of the revenues. Those in the horse racing industry want to be involved and do not want to settle on a share.

Mark Macarro, the Chairman of the Pechanga tribe commented in the hearing in June that the offer for revenue sharing still stands with the horse racing tracks and stated that it might be possible for the tracks to enter into a partnership with operators who are licensed in the capacity of an affiliate.

Robyn Black, a lobbyist for the horse racing industry, rejected the offer along with others in the industry. Black asked why they should compromise when they have the legal opinion to participate as a licensee. Most in the industry want to see a level playing field when it comes gaming interests in a new online poker industry within the state.

It seems as though now that the groups interested in online poker cannot come to an agreement, the state will suffer as a whole with no legalization in sight. We will continue to monitor the latest announcements in California and report on any new legislation or movement for online poker within the state as it happens.



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