Assemblyman removes California online poker bill from GO hearing

By David Cook
Assemblyman Mike Gatto has cancelled a hearing for a bill seeking the legalisation of online poker in California that was scheduled for Wednesday.

AB 9, which was introduced by Gatto in December, is still currently included in the Governmental Organization (GO) hearing’s agenda at the time of writing, along with AB 167, a separate online poker bill that was introduced by Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer in January.

Gatto said: “I am cancelling next week's hearing of my Assembly Bill 9. I believe this is the right thing to do at this point because there is no consensus on the issue yet. My bill has an ‘urgency’ clause, and thus it can be resuscitated at any time.

“Over the past three years, I have met with representatives from nearly every software provider, card room, gaming tribe, racetrack, and internet poker operator who has an opinion on the subject. I gave my word to both supporters and opponents of AB 9 that my goal was consensus, and that I would not move forward with anything that achieved less than that.

“I will continue working to craft legislation on which the interested parties can agree, and which is good for the people and treasury of the state of California."

GO Committee chairman Adam Gray introduced his own AB 431 online poker bill in February, and the GO Committee unanimously voted for the bill to advance to the next legislative step.

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