California Online Poker Supporters Respond to Regulation Disappointments

CaliforniaIt was just a few days ago that we reported both online poker bills in the state of California were shelved for 2014 as legislators were unable to pass either bill during the current session. The state will now have to wait until 2015 to try again with online poker legislation. For those in favor of online poker gaming in the state, this news was disappointing. There are several interests in California that must be considered before legislation can be passed, from card rooms to casinos, Indian Tribes and race tracks. The state has been a hot topic of discussion as they have tens of millions in residents so the state would be welcomed in the industry.

According to a recent report by PocketFives, major proponents of the option in California are now commenting on the bills falling flat in the state. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians as well as the Bicycle Casino, Commerce Casino and Hawaiian Gardens card rooms are partnered with PokerStars to offer online poker if legislation is passed in the state. These interest groups were of course disappointed about the recent developments and have now spoken out on the issue.

Robert Martin is the Chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians Tribe and recently stated: clearly the issues surrounding the latest bills that sought to unconstitutionally limit competition, place prohibitions on race tracks, and rewrite longstanding, successful state policy regarding California’s oversight of gaming proved insurmountable for this session.”

Martin continued by stating that the tribe and their partners have no intention of quitting and will continue to work with regulators, legislators, other tribes and of course, their partners, to try and develop online poker legislation in the state.

A response from the card rooms was presented by Keith Sharp, an attorney representing the groups, which stated that legislation that would authorize online poker in the state should be ensured to create a successful market to provide consumers with online poker gaming from trusted brands in a strongly regulated environment.

John Pappas, the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, also weighed in on the subject stating to PocketFives, stating that there is a new dance taking place in California. Pappas is calling it an ‘internet poker shuffle’ and stating the efforts are one step forward and two steps back. Pappas stated it is frustrating that for one more year, poker players in California are left without gaming options as the ‘hyper-competitive gaming industry’ tries to elbow its way into yet another stalemate. Pappas is still optimistic about California entering into the online poker industry, although it will be several more months before anything can happen.

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