Online Poker Efforts in California Stall
Hopes that California would pass new legislation to allow for legal online poker have been squashed with the news that neither of the two bills being considered would be passed in 2011.
Despite the fact that two different online poker bills were being discussed by politicians and various groups in California, California State Senator President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg announced on August 23 that neither bill would be passed in 2011.
According to Steinberg, while the opposing sides had been engaged in debate the differences were simply still too large:
"Significant, unresolved issues remain, including tribal exclusivity and waiver of sovereign immunity, the types of games that would be authorized, who would be eligible to apply for gaming site licenses and potential federal constitutional questions. We believe that well thought out, fair solutions to these differences can be reached, but not before the end of this legislative year on September 9th."
As has been the case with many US states considering passing bills to allow for online casinos and poker rooms, groups in California were divided as to how many licenses should be awarded and whether or not only online poker would be offered or if games such as blackjack and video poker would be allowed.
Some Indian tribes in California felt they'd been excluded from the process and wouldn't benefit as much as others, and federal law is still unclear as to whether intra-state gambling in California would be allowed in the first place even if passed.
Other US states are still considering similar legislation, with New Jersey and Nevada both pursuing legislation that could see online casino and poker games offered to state residents.