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Internet Poker Legislation Not in the Cards This Session

With the end of the legislative session in sight, the author of the remaining Internet poker bill in the California Legislature called it quits, saying he will try again in the 2015-16 session.

Such legislation could open a new revenue stream for California’s American Indian tribes, who offer gambling in casino buildings on their reservations. There are eight brick-and-mortar casinos in San Diego County.

“One of the major reasons that I did not move [the bill] this legislative session was that the Department of Justice and the California Gaming Commission did not have enough time to review the language and make relevant recommendations on the regulatory structure of the bill. It is essential that Californians have safe and compliant Internet poker access,” said the bill’s author, Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), in a written statement.

Card clubs and the horse tracks have also expressed interest in offering Internet poker, the statement said.

Another provision that got considerable debate was whether certain vendors could offer Internet poker services. Language concerning “bad actors” could have exposed the state to legal challenges, the assemblyman said.

“We have come a long way, but we have to be patient, so we can get this right,” Jones-Sawyer said.

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