Golden State lawmakers’ latest attempt at legalizing California online poker has cleared an important committee vote, but has plenty of hurdles to leap before becoming a law.

Late last week, the Assembly Appropriations Committee unanimously gave a thumbs up to AB 431, but that doesn’t mean you should start including California in your next marketing plan.

Besides the fact that there’s almost nothing in this bill besides a basic framework for legalizing online poker, AB 431 still has some pretty powerful enemies.

As it stands today, AB 431 runs just a few hundred words and contains nothing in the way of details explaining exactly how California online poker will work. That, however, hasn’t stopped powerful tribal gaming interests like the Pechanga tribe and their allies.

Tribes like the Pechanga are not too keen on the thought of an open marketplace where smaller tribes, like the Morongo and San Miguel bands, can compete with land-based casinos via the internet.

Not surprisingly, the Morongos and San Miguels think AB 431 is just fine and should be passed.

One thing that all the shareholders in the California online poker battle agree on is that something needs to be done to bring the Golden State into the regulated online poker fold.

In a press release, representative of the Morongos and San Miguels said:

Every year that California fails to act not only puts consumers at risk while playing online games from offshore localities that provide few protections and regulations.

Though AB 431 is slowly making progress, the operative word here is, “slowly.” Affiliates and operators should expect plenty more political games and negotiations before regulated California online poker becomes a reality.

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