Legalized Online Poker in California Faces Long Odds in Final Weeks: Bill Not Likely to Pass

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
Legalized Online Poker in California Faces Long Odds in Final Weeks

The deadline to get an online poker measure passed in the California legislature is looming. 


That August 31 date leaves little wiggle room to pass such legislation that would make the activity legal online within the Golden State. 

“It’s possible, but I don’t see it in the last four weeks,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, told reporters.  Steinberg is a co-sponsor of the legislation that has been met with opposition from the state’s Tribal casinos.   Sen. Rod Wright, D-Los Angeles is the other sponsor.

The bill, which is estimated to bring $200 million to state coffers through licensing fees alone, has witnessed zero movement since its introduction back in February.

“I’m not going to break a pick on this issue,” Steinberg said. “But I’m willing to see it through if there is a little more consensus.”

The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, which operates a casino near Valley center, supports the Wright bill. Steven Stallings, a Rincon council member, said he thinks there is still a chance at a deal before the session ends.

California is the world’s 8th largest economy and would be capable of supporting a viable online poker industry without the necessity of having to form compacts with other states.   

- Nagesh Rath,


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