Legalized Online Gambling in California Off the TablePublished September 11, 2014 by Lee R
The end of the year is too close, despite early optimism in the state.
A setback to the legalization battle in California took place last month when one of a pair of two bills drafted to regulate gambling in the state was put on hold last month, effectively ending hopes of online gambling regulation in California for the year, and casting a serious shadow on the future viability of the proposal.
Time Runs Out for the Year
Bill SB 1366, authored by State Senator Lou Correa, the chairman of the Senate Governmental Organizational Committee which monitors gambling in California, was shelved over concerns that there was not sufficient time to sufficiently refine the law by the end of the year to a level that all lawmakers would be satisfied to vote on.
The second bill, AB 2291 may face a similar fate, as it is currently stalled in the committee phase with no hearing date set for further consideration.
It was believed for awhile that California was the next state set to join Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey in legalizing online gambling, but the state's legislative inertia on the subject of late has thrown the entire likelihood of online gambling in the state into doubt.
Early Optimism Fully Dissipates
This late halt comes in direct contrast to recent support generally shown by a decent amount of lawmakers in Cali, but interest-based lobbying is playing a role now, such as that of Sheldon Adelson. Adelson, a casino magnate, has contributed over $300,000 in opposition to the legalization of online gambling to protect the financial interests of land-based casinos that Adelson is already heavily vested in.
Too Many Points of Contention
Terms of controversy among California lawmakers include disagreement on how to address the operators who already operated within California without licenses—groups that are large providers in regulated markets and are otherwise legitimate and significant online industry players, such as Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars. Some California lawmakers want to penalize them by banning them completely, while others want to include them in the new regulatory environment. Other smaller points of contention have given lawmakers in California the general sense that the differences will not be resolvable before the end of the year.