Online Poker News - California Legalisation Hopes Fade
13th of June 2012 - latestpokerbonuses.com
Too many interests in legalising online gambling pulling in different directions destroy Tuesday's attempt
Before it could be even debated, the Californian online poker legalisation bill was yesterday abruptly removed from the agenda of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.
Chairman of the committee and sponsor of Senate Bill 1463, Sen Rod Wright was disappointed but said he would continue negotiations to try and reach a compromise on legalising Internet poker in California, though the estimated odds of success this year are "less than 50-50."
"We’re going to try and work some more and see what we can do. We will keep talking. But it’s a tough go," Wright said.
A co-sponsor on the bill, Sen. Darrel Steinberg, appeared to have lost hope as well and felt unsure if an agreement is possible at all: “There is fear and there is opportunity. If there’s no deal, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.”
According to the observers of the legislature the measure did not have enough votes to get out of the Governmental Organisation Committee, so Wright had to withdraw the bill to the surprise of the audience at the hearing, many of whom had travelled some distance to be present.
Wright said that different groups want different things in the bill, and that they conflict; for instance, some Indian tribes operating casinos appear firmly against legalising Internet poker because they fear they will lose their business. He also mentioned some card clubs providing poker in casinos and don’t want horse-racing tracks nor other newcomers to the game to offer poker online.
Wright lamented over spending two years work on the bill and trying to meet many and diverse interests and now its future is uncertain, as is the potential $200 million in annual state tax revenue it could have raised beginning 2014.
As for the California legislative session, it ends August 31.
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