iGaming Business – Online poker supporters in California are celebrating a step forward for legalisation in the US state.
The Assembly Governmental Organisation Committee (GO) voted unanimously in favor of advancing AB 431, sponsored by Assemblymember Adam Gray.
While this move does not make it law, it pushes it along to the next legislative step and is significant because it is a first legislative victory for poker in California and it was unclear that it would have enough support to progress.
The vote was welcomed by the ‘Amaya Coalition’, which is a group of interested parties including PokerStars owner Amaya and a number of Tribal organisations.
A spokesman said: “Today’s passage of AB 431 (Gray) out of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee represents a milestone for authorizing online poker in California.
“While this is just the first step in what will be a long process, it’s still important. Never before has an online poker bill had anything more than an informational hearing, much less been voted upon and passed out of committee.”
Three hearings have been set up to discuss the bill in the next few months, with the final one coming in August.
These hearings will be used in part to fill in many of the blanks associated with the bill, including what role existing racetracks should play in legalised poker, fees and taxes.