A California Senate committee scheduled to vote on an online poker bill did not get the chance when the proposal’s sponsor removed the measure from the committee’s agenda prior to the hearing.
Sen. Roderick Wright, who chairs the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, announced to a crowded hearing room that his proposed legislation would not be voted on. Despite recent amendments to SB1463 by Wright and co-sponsor Sen. Darrell Steinberg that attempted to please the state’s powerful tribal gaming interests, the bill apparently needs a bit more re-tooling and was taken off the agenda because it would not have received the required votes for passage.
Critics believe that the current proposal is much too friendly to the state’s horse racing interests, as well as to Las Vegas casinos and international companies that would be allowed to form alliances with California entities who obtain an online poker license. This has led to further objections by Golden State tribes, who still can’t seem to agree among themselves whether or not online poker will help or hurt their casino businesses.
Wright said that he will keep the lines of communication open with the state’s gambling interests in hopes of reaching a workable solution, but admitted that the chances of that happening are “less than 50-50” before the legislative session ends August 31.
“We’re going to try and work some more and see what we can do,” Wright told the L.A. Times. “We will keep talking. But it’s a tough go.”