US Gambling Legislation Moves Forward in California, AlabamaPublished April 30, 2015 by Lee R
The agreements to further consider online regulation are still a policy triumph for online gambling in America.
Progress towards online gambling regulation is on the radar in the states of California and Alabama, but there is still a long way to go.
Still, a step in the right direction has been taken in both places.
In California, a huge policy accession was secured when the first ever committee vote on online poker legislation passed unanimously. While nothing was legalized, Assemblyman Adam Gray’s AB 431 ‘shell’ bill was ensured of consideration in greater detail.
Future hearings were secured in an all or nothing vote, as AB 431 did not carry the “urgency” designation that characterized other poker bills in the state. The implication of this classification was that the bill would receive an immediate premature death if not approved by the committee by the first of May, as the deadline for eligibility of bill to be considered in the current state legislative session.
The only substantive opposition at the hearing came from California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion leader James Butler, leery of the gambling proponents who he claims traditionally “over-promise and under-deliver the benefits to the state.” This concern over private interests manipulating gambling regulation for their own interest remains the leading obstacle to passage.
Two further hearings have already been scheduled: the “Overview of Gambling in California; Legality, Authorization and Regulation" is set for May 20 at 1:30pm; "The Legality of Internet Poker: How Prepared Is California to Regulate It?" is set for June 24 at 1:30pm.
Two for Alabama Too
Two is also the key number in the Alabama state vote, as the number of bills sponsored by Rep. Craig Ford and introduced to the Alabama state legislature in favor of regulating of online gambling to supplement the state budget.
HB471 proposes an amendment to Section 65 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 in favor of an Alabama Lottery. The amendment would specifically divert funds towards state programs within the Alabama Medicaid Agency.
HB472 proposes an amendment to Section 65 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, calling for the creation of an Alabama Lottery to fund scholarships.