Federal Online Poker Bill Back on Table, While California Has Its Own Plans

Posted on: May 9, 2013, 05:30h. 

Last updated on: May 6, 2013, 09:29h.

gamingJust when you thought the corpse of federal gaming regulations was dead and cold, along comes New York State Representative Peter King (R-Long Island) with a new federal online poker bill that he intends to present to Congress shortly.  Apparently frightened at the prospect of state-by-state gaming expansion (we’re not entirely sure why), he wants some Uncle Sam oversight of the whole shebang. The timeline for this legislation to be introduced, according to King’s spokesperson Kevin Fogarty, is “shortly.” Since when do State Representatives have spokespeople?  That’s pretty fancy.

Mystery Bill

It’s still unclear exactly what the bill will offer (or why it trumps what individual state bills are offering); rumors say that it will be less “Nevada-centric” (let us know how that works out for you, kids) than a previous bill that never made it to the floor from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) last year.  All we know is that it addresses poker only, but may have some caveats for state lotteries, who were apparently not ecstatic about Reid’s previous no-show measure. Ah, politics.

California Pipes In

Meanwhile, over on the West Coast, in California (a state that would benefit greatly from legal online poker, given its constituency and population size), there’s talk of a new online gambling bill to come in June that would have near-unanimous tribal gaming support (unlike any of its predecessors). Yup, they say that even tribal leaders who have previously been against any online gaming passage, will be supporting this one. Promises, promises; we shall see.

Perhaps one reason the new measure is garnering unilateral support is because it’s taking the gambling periphery, including state card clubs and horse tracks, into account, while maintaining a stern stance on those naughty kids like PokerStars with very clear “bad actor” verbiage.

Whatever it says, looks like this bill will be waiting until the next California legislature kicks in; this season’s session is now closed.