Posts Tagged ‘California online poker’

California Online Poker makes “Significant Progress”

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

california-online-pokerDespite renewed promise every year, legalizing online poker has stalled in California several times over the inability of all sides to compromise. But a recent report suggests that major progress has been made towards legal California online poker in 2016.

The breakthrough appears to be due to daily fantasy sports (DFS). The “Pechanga Coalition” – a group of nine tribes that don’t want race tracks or PokerStars involved in the iPoker market – wrote a letter to State Assemblyman Adam Gray advising that DFS, in its current form, is illegal. So they propose that DFS and iPoker be legalized together, allowing operators to run both types of gaming.

In the past, the Pechanga Coalition has argued that race tracks don’t have anything to do with poker, so they shouldn’t be allowed to offer the game online. Additionally, they believe that since PokerStars violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) they too should be left out of the market.

But according to San Diego’s 10News, the “tribes intend to use DFS as leverage, hoping that by passing both poker and DFS legislation, each party will finally feel they’re getting something out of a deal.”

The two biggest hurdles remain the race tracks and PokerStars, although both of these issues could be soon cleared up. Race tracks may be opening up more to the idea of accepting annual affiliate payments from tribes, instead of launching their own poker sites. Meanwhile, Stars, which has been called a “bad actor” by some tribes – despite having the support of in-state cardrooms and several other tribes – will soon launch in New Jersey. So the Pechanga Coalition may be giving up on the idea that Stars is a bad actor since they are already legal in one U.S. state.

Only time will tell if California is truly ready to compromise and legalize iPoker. However, all sides could finally be closer than ever before on the issue.

LA Times wants Online Poker and DFS legalized

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

It seems that daily fantasy sports (DFS) are the new online poker since many Americans can legally play DFS. Meanwhile, online poker has taken a backseat after major legal hits through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 and Black Friday (2011). So the L.A. Times has a solution to the matter: just legalize all forms of internet gaming.

A recent editorial discusses how, unlike online poker, DFS was exempted from the UIGEA and continues to thrive in the United States. However, DFS’s reign at the top could be shorter-lived than internet poker’s, given that several state attorney generals have already declared that it violates gambling laws.

Rather than playing this legal game of cat-and-mouse, as well as trying to argue that DFS isn’t gambling, the L.A. Times staff suggests that the easier thing to do is legalize online gaming in general. Here’s one excerpt from the article:

California lawmakers have been trying for years to create this sort of framework for online poker, only to be thwarted by internecine battles among the state’s licensed gaming businesses. Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) is now championing a bill to license and regulate just the daily fantasy sports operators, but his bill is likely to run the same gantlet of resistance from Indian tribes, racetracks and card clubs. The argument for setting up a safer environment for fantasy sports games applies in spades to online poker. It’s time for the Legislature to stand up to the competing gambling interest groups and adopt safeguards that apply across the online gaming boards.

In California’s case, the reason why they can’t legalize either iPoker or DFS is the state’s Indian tribes. Certain tribal gaming influences don’t want to move forward with legalization/regulation until they’re assured that PokerStars/racetracks won’t be involved.

But the L.A. Times’ general point reigns true in that there’s no legitimate reason why DFS should be regulated before online poker or other forms of iGaming. Poker is, after all, a skill game just like DFS. So there should be an all-encompassing piece of legislation that covers everything.

California still arguing about Online Poker “Bad Actors”

Friday, June 6th, 2014

California’s 13 Indian tribes have come to an agreement on one thing: they all want online poker. However, the tribes are widely split on whether to involve “bad actors” like PokerStars in the market.

A proposed online poker bill would exclude PokerStars and any other site that operated in the US legal market after the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was approved. Many of the state’s tribes are behind this legislation. However, PokerStars, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and three prominent California card clubs are staunchly opposed to the current bill.

Limiting the Competition

The alleged motivation behind current internet poker legislation is that bad actor language punishes sites that operated illegally in the United States. However, Robert Martin, the Chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, thinks that there’s a different agenda behind the bill. Through a recent statement, Martin wrote the following:

We strongly oppose the so-called ‘bad actor’ language that is nothing other than a blatant attempt to provide certain interests with an unfair competitive advantage by arbitrarily locking out trusted (internet poker) brands. We will vigorously oppose any legislation that includes this language.

Let the Regulators decide

Instead of letting Indian tribes decide on who gets in and who’s locked out of California’s poker market, PokerStars believes that the state gaming regulators should decide their fate. Here’s a look at their statement:

We believe the job of determining suitability should be left with the existing regulators – the CA Gambling Control Commission and the Attorney General’s Bureau of Gambling Control, using the Gambling Control Act’s existing standards that these regulators have been successfully applying for many years.

The one thing that’s clear from all of this is that nothing is clear from a legislation perspective. The PokerStars group is likely right in their assessment of other tribes wanting them omitted to decrease competition. So for now, it looks like things will remain in a standstill until the tribes can figure out what to do about Stars.