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California Poker Bill Unexpectedly Gains Boost

The California state poker bill that had been proposed in February was throughout to be all but dead until yesterday afternoon when State Senator Lou Correa amended his initial bill, SB 678, to reclassify it an “urgency” bill. This is a significant move to try to reignite the talks and hopefully end in the passing of this bill that has been stuck in committee since March of this year. There is currently less than a month left in the legislative session, so any movements will have to be swift.

The reclassification of the bill means that if any part of the bill is rejected that said offending part will be removed and the rest of the bill will remain intact. This allows for any unpopular amendments or sections of the bill to not hold back the entire piece of legislation, which can happy especially in state politics. The other interesting provisions of this reclassification include: immediate enactment once passed by the legislature and it now needs to 2/3 majority in both houses to pass. The reason for such a large majority of politicians needing to approve it is that the governor is now taken out of the equation and can’t veto the law, like he can with normal laws under the State Constitution.

While the urgency with which this bill needs to be passed shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone, this particular move is a little surprising, because it makes a huge bet on this bill specifically and when it is enacted it can be severely stripped down form what it currently is. This could causes problems if a part of it is failed that makes the bill function properly and the full ramifications of parts failing won’t be known until it is critically assessed by all parties involved. Either way, California is feeling the heat from Nevada having real-money gaming up and running and New Jersey almost ready to launch real-money gaming after receiving 37 timely applications earlier in the month.

As this situation continues to grow and change will keep you updated.

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Andrew Schupick