Current legislation within the state of California could see the online poker industry finally legalized, but major poker proponents are now speaking out about recent proposed amendments to the bill lawmakers are trying to push through. The Poker Players Alliance (the “PPA”) is a strong supporter of online poker legislation, and they’ve been working long and hard for years to get online poker pushed through in California.
Currently on the table in California, is AB2863, a bill that would allow for the legalization and regulation of online poker in the state. However, recent amendments to regulation have the PPA calling for lawmakers to reject such changes as it would restrict competition and leave players dissatisfied.
The PPA has released a statement in regards to proposed changes to AB 2863 – changes that the group says will keep the measure from passing into law. John Pappas, the Executive Director for the PPA, pointed out in the press release that the group is deeply disappointed that Chairman Adam Gray has chosen to play politics at the behest of special interests.
According to Pappas, the proposed amendments will threaten the passage of the online poker legislation of which the group and members of the PPA have been advocating for years. The PPA has provided consistent support for the state in regards to iPoker, maintaining a message that consumers need to be protected and competition promoted.
The PPA is calling the last minute insertion of ‘bad actor’ amendments, an anti-competitive measure that will single out Amaya Gaming and PokerStars – as well as their tribal and cardroom partners located in the state, from participating. Pappas stated that while some are saying the 5-year ban is only temporary, deeper examination of the proposed amendments reveal that this is actually a lifetime ban.
The PPA believes this raises serious issues within the constitution and begs the question as to if the measure would even be able to pass due to opposition, also furthering the wait for consumers in California to have access to iPoker games.
The full press release by the PPA can be read here. The group is urging Adam Gray as well as other Assembly members to pass legislation that will license online poker but without the anti-competitive provision.
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