The state of California has been the hot topic lately in the online poker industry as two bills introduced into legislation are being discussed. The bills had until August 31st to be passed but now, both bills have been removed from the current legislation session. The first bill, one by State Senator Lou Correa, was taken out of discussion by the senator himself. The second bill, by Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, has now been reported to be off the table as well.
Operators, legislators and Indian tribes cannot seem to come to an agreement which would allow for online poker in the state. A consensus has yet to take place and this is why it is taking so long for the option to become available in the state.
The main areas of disagreement include bad actor clauses and horse racing tracks. Some want to see a bad actor clause included in the legislation, which would not allow companies that operated after the UIGEA was passed to take part in the online gaming market. This would of course, include PokerStars, who has already made deals with the Morongo Band of Indians and several card rooms.
Also up for discussion is the horse race tracks. The Indian tribes and others believe the race tracks should not be allowed to offer online poker. However, industry insiders, such as John Pappas, of the PPA, believes including the horse racing tracks is a must to ensure the success of the industry in the state.
So the discussion continues and reportedly, a new bill will be in the works for the next session which will take place in December. So, only time will tell what will take place in the state of California and if they can actually begin offering online poker gaming in the US.