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Online Poker Bill May Be Put On Hold in California

California lawmakers are intent on moving carefully with the bill to regulate intrastate online poker, even if it means holding the measure over until the next session.

With only four weeks left on the legislative calendar for the current session in California, hopes of a quick passage of an intrastate online poker bill are slowly fading. Despite the state's urgent need for more revenue and the potential of Internet poker to bring money to the state, signs are that the bill will have to wait a while longer.

Senator Darrell Steinberg told Capitol Weekly of the bill, "it should not be taken up in the last four weeks."

While the Morongo tribe has thrown its considerable support behind online poker, other tribes are emerging as opponents to any online gambling expansion. Tribes do not want to risk violating generous compacts by participating in online gaming that may go against the language of current agreements, and definitely do not want Internet gaming in which they play no part.

"Pechanga has had a standing opposition to online poker since proposals first surfaced last year, out of concerns for the far-reaching legal, political and policy consequences of an expansion of this magnitude," wrote Pechanga tribal chairman Mark Macarro.

"I think it's going to take more than four weeks to analyze that kind of proposal and the potential economic benefits," Steinberg said in a summation of what appears to be the consensus in the state.

Published on August 27, 2009 by MattMiller

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