With only three weeks left in the legislative session, California Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) has announced that he has tabled his online poker bill, SB 1366.
After assessing the current landscape, Correa believed there was not enough time or consensus to get the bill passed before state legislators wrap up business for the year at the end of the month, according to Patrick Mcgreevy of the LA Times who first broke the story.
Not all hope for California to legalize online poker this year has been lost.
Still an Outside Chance in 2014
State Assembly bill AB 2291, introduced by Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-59), is still a viable option, but with each passing day, its chances of passing continue to fade.
For much of the year, the major hurdle has been the inclusion of a “bad actor” clause that would prevent online poker companies that had served the US market after 2006 from being able to partner with potential online poker license holders in the state.
The issue seemed to galvanize state gaming interests in a way that no other issue had done over the five previous year—in which legislation for online poker has failed in California—as a group of 13 tribes banded together to lobby state lawmakers in support of the bad actor provision.
On the other side of the issue were those potential operators—including some of the biggest card clubs in the state—that had partnered with PokerStars, the primary target of the bad actor provisions.
However, recent rumblings coming from the state capitol seemed to indicate that a compromise had been reached on the topic and legislation may be able to be rushed through before the session ends.
AB 2291 is classified as an urgency bill requiring a two thirds approval to pass.
The California state legislature is scheduled to adjourn on Sunday August 31.