The year of 2018 will not see the state of California consider an online poker bill in a move that is a first for over a decade. Instead, it is said that online poker has the potential to be tied in to a sports betting bill for a push in 2019.
Friday stands as the deadline date for regular bills to be filed, and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer spoke of the move openly. He said that following on from a year that has seen little progress in regard to tribal gaming interests, he is of the mindset to not reintroduce legislation for legalising and regulating online poker. It was back in 2014 that he first involved himself with this issue, and every year since then he has sponsored a bill. This marks the first year since 2007 that the state of California will not be considering the legalisation of online poker.
The move comes with Jones-Sawyer hoping that the Supreme Court’s decision on the future of sports betting will have some impact on the poker world. If this is the case, then he looks towards 2019 as being the year for the reintroduction of the online poker bill. He went on to state that the Supreme Court’s ruling will “make it more viable”, in reference to the stagnation of online poker.
Jones-Sawyer’s Moves Forward
California saw the Assemblyman reintroduce the online poker bill in 2017, although he did state at the time that he had no intention of moving the bill. He instead announced it as a “year to heal”, following a fairly heated end to the year of 2016. Chair of the Assembly Governmental Organisation Committee, Adam Gray pushed forth with the bill that year. He did manage to gain significant leeway in regard to certain issues, but everything came to a grinding halt when he attempted to force through various resistance towards the end of the session.
Speaking of that moment, Jones-Sawyer said that there has been some progress relating to the area. He said that they have gone through a vast amount of research and a largely robust discussion, although the main point that came out of that was that people were actually talking about it openly.
However, the tribe communities of California are currently directing their angst towards another gaming issue, as we reported yesterday. The tribes of Southern California are fed up with the illegal cardroom activity of the area, which goes against the laws that have been set up to allow them to operate their own casinos.
Because of this, Jones-Sawyer has had to put any issues with online poker to one side for now. The illegal poker activity is what needs to be focused on for the time being, and once this is resolved, perhaps further discussions can be put into place regarding online poker gaming in the state.