Capitol Alert

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Internet poker bills shelved

08/11/2014 10:54 AM

08/11/2014 11:06 AM

Californians hoping to legally play poker online will have to wait at least another year.

Lawmakers have shelved bills that would have created a legal internet poker system for players within California, making this the fifth year in a row in which they’ve publicly flirted with the idea without casting a vote.

“Internet poker is a very important public policy for the state of California and once it’s done and signed into law it’s going to be with us for at least 30, 40 years. So we want to make sure we do it right,” said Sen. Lou Correa, a Santa Ana Democrat who carried a bill to allow internet poker.

“Instead of passing something that I’m not comfortable with, we’re not going to move ahead at this time.”

California’s gambling interests have been negotiating over the issue for years. Earlier this summer, most of the state’s casino-owning Indian tribes announced an agreement on how internet poker could work. But the powerful Morongo tribe remained opposed, as did major cardrooms. The effort also faced opposition from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who hired lobbyists in Sacramento to fight against internet poker bills and got former assembly speakers Fabian Nuñez and Willie Brown to join the effort opposing a new form of gambling in the state.

“Clearly Sheldon Adelson... is a factor,” Correa said. “But I’ve not seen it being a major factor.”

Capitol Alert staff

Amy Chance
Political editor
achance@sacbee.com
@Amy_Chance

Dan Smith
Capitol bureau chief
smith@sacbee.com
@DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller
California policy and politics
Capitol Alert editor
jmiller@sacbee.com
@jimmiller2

David Siders
Brown administration
dsiders@sacbee.com
@davidsiders

Christopher Cadelago
California politics and health care
ccadelago@sacbee.com
@ccadelago

Laurel Rosenhall
Legislature, lobbying, higher education
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
@LaurelRosenhall

Jeremy B. White
Legislature
jwhite@sacbee.com
@capitolalert

Alexei Koseff
Insider Edition editor
akoseff@sacbee.com
@akoseff

 

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