The California online poker legislative push is back from the dead, and so is State Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Saywer (D-59th District) and his bill. Jones-Sawyer’s attempts to unite warring factions in the state’s gaming industry died in 2014 and 2015, along with his poker bills of those same years, but give the man credit: he doesn’t give up easily.
California State Assemblyman Reggie-Jones Sawyer returns with a new online poker bill, but will he succeed where others, including himself, have failed? Don’t hold your breath.
Undeterred, Jones-Sawyer has presented a new bill, AB 1677, aka the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act, which offers little that’s new, although it does provide a platform to at least reignite the debate.
At the heart of that debate will be the question of suitability. Because online poker will see operators taxed, a bill to regulate it would need two-thirds majority vote to pass in the legislature. This is impossible unless all future stakeholders, mainly tribal casinos with political capital and lobbyists, are in agreement.
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But blocking that outcome are two diametrically opposed groups of tribal operators, who are determined not to agree on the suitability question.
In one corner, the group that has loosely become known as the Morongo Coalition wants PokerStars to be included in a future market, because it has a commercial deal with the internet giant. In opposi Read More