California iGaming Week in Review: Oregon Playing Role of Copy-Cat?

Written By Steve Ruddock on March 14, 2014 - Last Updated on September 13, 2022
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California is dominating the discussion when it comes to potential online gambling expansion, as the most populous state is now one of the leading candidates to join New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.

In this column we’ll take a look at the latest developments in the world of California gaming, including a pair of reappointments to the CGCC, an editorial on the proposed California online poker bills that appeared in an Oregon newspaper, who will be representing California at the iGNA conference next week, and our weekly look at the California iGaming Barometer.

Brown recommends two for CGCC

California Governor Jerry Brown (who has been the governor of California for something like 120 years I believe) made two reappointments to the California Gambling Control Commission earlier this month, nominating two current CGCC members to their current positions.

Brown recommended that Tiffany Conklin and Lauren Hammond continue to serve on the Commission, where both have been members since 2010. The appointments will require Senate confirmation, but both are expected to remain a part of the CGCC as neither is a controversial pick in any way, shape, or form.

The other two members of the CGCC are Richard Lopes and Richard Schuetz.

Schuetz has been very vocal about bringing iGaming to California and seems to be one of the most important behind-the-scenes players in the state. Lopes, the current Chairman of the CGCC, will be a speaker at the upcoming iGNA Conference, but more on this below.

California online poker bills getting noticed in Oregon

California’s pair of online poker bills is also getting some attention from its northern neighbor Oregon, where a brief editorial appeared at discussing the implications for Oregon should California pass one of these bills into law, and what that would mean for Oregon down the road.

According to the author of the piece, Harry Esteve:

“What California decides could have an impact on Oregon. States that offer online poker are looking to partner with neighboring states to increase traffic to the games.”

While California and its population of 38 million will be less inclined to sign an interstate agreement, they would certainly be more likely to do so with a border state, which would cut down on geolocation constraints.

Senator Lou Correra and CGCC Chairman Richard Lopes to speak at iGNA

On the opening day of the 2014 iGNA Conference two representatives of California, State Senator Lou Correra and CGCC Chairman Richard Lopes will be part of the a star-studded panel that will feature a discussion on 2014 Policy Roundup.

The panel will be moderated by State Senator Jeff Danielson from Iowa’s 30th District, and according to the iGNA schedule the group will discuss:

Setting the table for two-and-a-half days of I-gaming content, the opening session provides a roundup of state and federal US policy. It includes updates on the latest developments as well as projections for 2014 and beyond, giving attendees a concise perspective on the political climate for the industry.

Here is a look at the complete panel; it should be a real barnburner with Kim Ward of Pennsylvania and Ray Lesniak of New Jersey joining the duo from California:

  • Richard Lopes, Chairman – California Gambling Control Commission
  • Senator Kim Ward, State Senator – 39th Senatorial District, Pennsylvania State Senate
  • Senator Lou Correa, State Senator – 34th District, California State Senate
  • Senator Raymond Lesniak, State Senator – 20th Legislative District, New Jersey State Senate

California iGaming Barometer

Last week I did some unscientific polling and came up with a baseline number for California to pass an online poker bill in 2014 of about 25%.

This week that number will remain the same, as there was little in the way of positive or negative news regarding California’s two online poker bills this past week.

However, there was some positive movement in the iGaming world after Massachusetts Internet Gambling forum that took place on March 11th. Based on the panelists presentations and answers it seems that online gambling expansion is being considered by a wide variety of states.

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Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is a longtime member of the online gambling industry. He covers the regulated US online casino and poker industries for variety of publications, including,,, and USA Today.

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