Sen. Wright cancels hearing on his Internet poker bill
State Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) on Tuesday canceled a hearing on his proposal to legalize Internet poker as observers said it did not appear to have enough votes to get out of the Governmental Organization Committee that he chairs.
Wright had significantly changed the bill to address concerns by card clubs, Indian casinos and other competing gambling interests, but opposition remained and it is unclear whether the senator will try again to negotiate a compromise this year. Wright did not immediately return calls for comment.
Some supporters of Internet poker have said they may ask another lawmaker to introduce a bill more to their liking. Last year, Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) carried an alternative proposal.
Wright’s SB 1463 would allow nearly 150 card clubs, Indian casinos and horse-racing tracks that operate in California to apply for licenses to run gambling websites open only to state residents. The goal of the bill is to raise at least $200 million annually for the state while protecting Californians who play poker over the web.
Several gambling groups said they would oppose the measure because it did not have enough protections against out-of-state groups taking over California poker sites.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: State Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) delayed a public hearing and vote Tuesday on his legislation that would legalize Internet poker. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press