In an unexpected turn of events, California Senate Bill 1463 was pulled from today’s meeting agenda. This bill would legalize and regular online poker within the state of California. It was expected to be voted on in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee today.
Senator Rod Wright, chairman of the committee and one of the introducers of this bill was the one who made the call on removing the current iteration of the bill this morning. At this point we can only speculate on the reasons. It could be that Wright felt that the current version of the bill isn’t yet able to stand up against criticisms. There are some critics of the bill who say that it doesn’t allow for all Californian tribes to have an equal footing in the profitable new market. There are also worries regarding the partnerships of outside organizations with Californian tribes. This could lead to giving too much influence of the California online poker scene to groups based outside of California.
There were previous concerns that the bill would open the door prematurely for other non-poker gambling games, such as casino and sports betting. The bill was to be amended to remove the relative clauses which would have potentially allowed for licensed operators to offer non-poker games after a period of two years.