Posts Tagged ‘legal California online poker’

No California Online Poker in 2016 – Latest Bill Dies

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

california-online-pokerFor the eighth straight year, attempts to legalize online poker in California have failed.

The latest attempt – Bill AB 2863 by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) – didn’t earn the necessary two-thirds vote in the state assembly. Therefore, the bill isn’t eligible to be voted on in the state legislature before the year closes.

The key issue remains the inability of Native American tribes, racetracks, and major online poker sites to come to an agreement. Some tribes, and the state’s three largest card rooms, have sided with PokerStars, saying that the world’s largest online poker site should be allowed in the California market.

According to the IB Times, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, and the Barona Band of Mission Indians have opposed PokerStars’ entry into California. But they finally threw their support behind Bill AB 2863 once Gray added a provision that would’ve kept Stars out for the first five years.

This wasn’t good enough for Stars and its allies, though, and competing interests once again failed to come to an agreement.

“AB 2863 met the same fate of past measures because opponents once again attempted to unconstitutionally limit competition by effectively barring one operator in perpetuity from the California marketplace,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin.

Gray, who’s also introduced a daily fantasy sports bill, isn’t happy about where all of this leaves California online poker.

“We can continue to endure the status quo,” says Gray. “where Internet gambling goes unregulated, untaxed and where no consumer protections exist, or we can try to bring some sense of order to the entire gambling industry in the state.”

Analysts believe that the California online poker market could realistically be worth $1 billion when it launches. Given the state’s population of over 37.6 million and rich economy, this could very well be true.

But it doesn’t look like we’ll get to find out any time soon because the bill has died out once again.

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.