The state of California may be moving slowly when it comes to entering the online poker industry of the United States but, they are still moving. Information has just been released that during the recent Assembly Governmental Organization Committee hearing a vote was conducted on the AB 431 legislation. The voted ended with a unanimous count in the positive to move the bill out of the Committee. This is in no way a passage of online poker but a step in the right direction none the less.
The AB 431 legislation is sponsored by Assemblyman Adam Gray, the chairman of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. The bill will now move forward and becomes the first online poker bill to receive a committee vote in the state of California. According to OnlinePokerReport, it had been unclear as to if the legislation would even have support to pass during the scheduled hearing, but was passed, creating a positive outcome for poker proponents of the state.
Before the hearing, Gray made changes to the bill, though the amendments have yet to be made public. It was clear that there were groups who were opposed to the bill, so these changes were apparently significant enough to garner support. Both the Agua Caliente tribe and the Pechanga tribe moved their stance to Neutral from Opposed to the measure.
Now the state will prepare for three additional hearings on the docket, one for May, June and July. The May hearing is scheduled for the 20th and has a title of Overview of Gambling in California—Legality, Authorization and Regulation. The next will take place on the 24th of June with the title; The Legality of Internet Poker—How Prepared is California to Regulate It? The last hearing will take place on July 8th and will discuss AB 9 by Mike Gatto and AB 167 of Reginald Jones-Sawyer.
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