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California online poker bill closely watched

3 Jul 2008

CALIFORNIA -- As reported by the Capital Weekly: "A seemingly innocuous bill that would implore the Department of Justice to begin investigating the future of online poker has quietly been one of the most closely watched bills among tribal gaming interests this year.

"While hardly any tribal governments have taken formal positions on the measure, they have been actively working behind the scenes, monitoring the bill's progress.

"The bill, AB 2026 by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, has been amended once again after a contentious hearing in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. Levine had tried to actually legalize a system of California-only video poker, but pared back the scope of his bill after quiet opposition from gaming tribes and anti-gambling forces.

"Levine's bill, in its current form, would require the Department of Justice to create a set of guidelines and regulations for online poker in California. But the Legislature would have to affirm those regulations and formally legalize online poker in a future bill, after the DOJ has come up with its guidelines.

"The drive to re-legalize video poker stalled amid concerns that tribes would be shut out of any new online poker expansion, because of technical requirements in state law..."

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