According to the upper house’s top Democrat, no more online gambling legislation will be considered by the Senate until 2012. This is a disappointing setback to two Inland Southern California tribes that have worked so hard this past year pushing one of their proposals.
Tribes, card rooms, horse tracks, online poker groups, and other representatives that have worked tirelessly this past year to work out deals to help further along online gambling were written a letter by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. In his letter Steinberg wrote that due to significant, unresolved issues, it would be considered unwise to put any online gambling bills up for vote before this coming September 9th, when the legislative year ends.
Steinberg said that he expects there will be a vote this January on internet gaming legislation, and has said “This is the first year of a two-year session. There is time to get this right, and it is imperative that we do so.”
The California Online Poker Association has made a stand, hitting the airwaves last week on radio and television. The ads that they are running are targeted at lawmakers, and advertise that online poker should be legalized.
Legalization of online poker would be helpful in keeping professional poker players from relocating to more poker friendly countries. Last week, Poker Refugees, a relocation service dedicated to helping poker professionals relocate was launched. If online poker legalization takes too long, there might be no point if there are no poker professionals left to enjoy it.