California online poker bill pulled off from hearing

The AB 167 was going to be considered and discussed at a hearing in Sacramento but it was withdrawn.

US.- The Assembly Governmental Organisation Committee did not discussed an online poker bill on yesterday’s (Wednesday) hearing. Introduced last February by Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, the bill states that licensed operators in California would run verification similar to other licensed locales, all players must be located in California and they have to be of legal age to take part in online poker. The AB 167 also includes plans for four-year renewable licences at a cost of US$10 million each, with the state collecting approximately 8.5 percent of gross gaming revenue from operators.

This decision was good news for various tribes who have voiced their opposition to the bill as it did not include a ‘bad actor’ clause, but despite this fact, the chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA,) Steve Stallings, criticised the state’s Assembly Governmental Organisation Committee for not discussing the bill during the hearing.

“We realise there are two other bills dealing with sports betting (AB 1441) and daily fantasy sports (DFS) (AB 1437) sharing the agenda with the I-Poker bill, AB 167,” Stallings expressed, “AB 167 represents one of the last in a series of I-Poker bills, which, unlike AB 1441 and AB 1437, were thoroughly vetted, debated, altered, massaged, and continually passed over with the hope of a political miracle of consensus in the next year. The regulation of fantasy sports is well intended; however, the state needs to prove it can deal with one online game – I-Poker – before it takes on others.”