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California Online Poker Association Hits Muck

2012 Was Another Failure For Those In State Trying To Pass Bill


The California Online Poker Association has hit the muck, the coalition of some of the state’s gaming interests lobbying for web card playing announced Thursday.

Ryan Hightower, the spokesman for COPA, explained the breakup in a press release:

“The decision was based upon insufficient progress within the legislature toward the passage of an online pker bill. When [COPA] was formed two years ago, the COPA operating agreement contemplated that the organization might be dissolved if state online poker legislation had not passed by Jan. 2, 2013.”

He added that COPA members still want to see legalized online poker.

Efforts from some lawmakers to pass an online poker bill failed once again this year. However, discussions on how to reach a possibile compromise among California’s vast tribal gaming industry will continue as some look to take another stab at legalization in 2013.

With 37.7 million people, the Golden State is viewed as the web poker industry’s most coveted prize. Under a state-by-state patchwork, it is possible California would go it alone.

Despite its support for the issue, COPA was against the latest version of a bill in California.

The group launched a free-play site in October 2011. Card Player was unable to immediately reach Hightower for information on the status of the platform, which was created through a deal with Isle of Man-based software developer Playtech.

According to the Sacramento Bee, COPA spent more than $1.2 million lobbying for online poker legislation in the first half of this year.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus