As of today, the legislative session of California for 2015 comes to an end. This means that online poker has no chance of passing in the state in 2015. This is no surprise as the state had an online poker hearing scheduled in July which was canceled. The hearing was not rescheduled for August, which led proponents of the game to believe that this was not the year for the state.
AB 431 is a bill that was introduced by Assemblyman Adam Gray, the only bill left in legislation for consideration. The shell bill was not a full effort, just one to get the ball rolling. Representatives of Gray reported that there was no last-minute movement and it wouldn’t matter anyways due to the fact there was not a bill in the Senate to follow after. Gray does plan on seeing his bill back once the January legislation session begins.
As 2015 began to take shape, California saw four bills introduced in regards to online poker gaming. This is the seventh year that regulation has been considered in California but the option continues to stall. The state did see three hearings take place with legislators discussing the option but no movement earlier in the year.
A strong step in the right direction was when the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee passed Gray’s bill. This action was the very first time that a positive outcome came in regards to online poker.
The main problem with online poker gaming in California is that fact that the horse racing industry was at odds with poker rooms and tribal groups plus bad-actor clause possibilities. Every interested party could not seem to come to a consensus on how the industry should be regulated and licensed within the state.
For now, California poker players will have to wait until next year to see what happens in regards to legislation and if invested parties can come together to get the ball rolling.
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