California online poker bill hits snag

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jul 06, 2010 Posted in Legal Poker News, US Poker News | No Comments »

The California State Legislature was supposed to vote on SB 1485, a bill that would legalize online poker in the state, on Tuesday June 29th, but the bill’s author, State Senator Rod Wright, decided to delay the vote saying that the legislation still needs some work.

SB 1485 was a wolf in sheep’s clothing for online poker players, and even the Poker Players Alliance couldn’t get behind the measure because of the criminalization of offshore online poker aspect of the legislation. In a formal letter the PPA addressed the provision stating: “Criminalizing harmless recreational conduct that typically takes place in the privacy of one’s home and cannot be practically enforced undermines public respect for all laws…”

Additional opposition came from the Indian Gaming Association; the group believes the bill would jeopardize jobs, especially in the communities surrounding California’s legal card-rooms. It should be noted that the Indian tribes in California –who currently have a monopoly on gambling in the state—are split on the issue almost down the middle.

When you compare both groups objections it’s easy to see how the bill is in peril: On the one hand you have the PPA looking out for the interests of poker players (the consumers), while on the other hand you have the Indian tribes who are looking out for their own interests –in the guise of jobs– and want to continue their monopoly on gambling in the state.

Unfortunately, without both groups backing it’s unlikely the bill will pass and playing Texas Holdem Poker online could still be a bit tricky for California Poker Players.

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