A bill that would have legalized and regulated online poker within the state of California came to an abrupt end, as the bill was removed from the Senate Governmental Organization Committee's agenda before it even came up for debate.
State Senator Rod Wright, the Chairman of the committee and the sponsor of the bill said that he would try to keep negotiating a deal to get online poker legalized in poker, but said his odds of getting it through were "less than 50-50".
"We’re going to try and work some more and see what we can do. We will keep talking. But it’s a tough go." Senator Wright said.
Fellow Senator and Co-Sponsor of the bill Darrel Steinberg was not hopeful of getting anything passed, saying: “There is fear and there is opportunity. If there’s no deal, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.”
The bill was set to be debated during the committee hearing, but was pulled from the agenda after it was learned that it did not have the necessary votes to get out of the committee and onto the Senate floor. Senator Wright said that some Indian tribes with land casinos are against the legalization of internet poker, fearing it will take away from their business.
With more than 2 years of work on getting the bill to its point and trying to work with the many groups with varying interests, Wright now will face an uphill battle to get something passed. If the bill is not re-introduced, fellow Senator Lou Correa said he may introduce his proposal which was looked upon as a rival bill to Wright's.
California's current legislative session ends on August 31st.