California’s legislature took a step forward toward allowing online poker in the state on Monday.

The Committee on Governmental Organization in the California State Assembly considered AB 431, passed a bill that provides a framework to legalize and regulate online poker in the state. Previously, there had been opposition to the bill — sponsored by committee Chairman Adam Gray — from tribal interests in the state. But there was good news near the start of the hearing for iGaming proponents.

Later on in the hearing, Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro said his tribe, which was formerly opposed to online poker, has moved to neutral on the bill. Opposition from major tribes in the state was viewed as a non-starter for the bill, previously.

The bill was passed unanimously in a voice vote.

After passing the committee vote, the next step is joint committee hearings in the state, where more details and amendments to the bill will try to create a consensus moving forward between all interested parties.


CaliforniaOnlinePoker.com live blogged the hearing; you can see the instant analysis here.

Several interested parties appeared and spoke in support of the bill, including the San Manuel and Rincon tribes, the Poker Players Alliance, Amaya Gaming, card clubs and horse track representatives, among many others.

James Butler, the head of the California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion, spoke in opposition of the bill.