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Sen. Wright to Reintroduce California Online Poker Bill in 2013

Senator Roderick Wright plans to try again to muster support for an online poker bill in California in January without amending SB 1463, which was hindered by infighting among the state’s gaming interests.

The dissolution of the California Online Poker Association (COPA) may make it easier this time around, as that organization of 31 card rooms and 29 Indian tribes had submitted a 75-page draft bill detailing amendments sought before the group would give their blessing to the bill’s passage, eGaming Review reported. COPA disbanded in late October, citing “insufficient progress within the legislature toward the passage of an online poker bill.”

Among other issues, Golden State tribes are opposed to advance deposit wagering (ADW) firms such as Betfair TVG and Churchill Downs to be allowed to apply for online poker licenses, as these companies currently have no involvement with poker.

SB 1463 was pulled prior to a Senate committee vote in June, while Wright (D-Inglewood) and co-author Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacremento) made several changes to the proposal in following months in hopes of pleasing tribes, card rooms and horse-racing interests. But the legislative session concluded at the end of August without enough agreement and support for the poker-only bill.


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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.