California Online Poker Legalization Efforts Put on Hold Until 2018

Publish: 26.04.2017

The state of California’s attempts to legalise and regulate the online poker market has hit a major hurdle.

Break on the Bill

According to latest reports, the California online poker Bill is likely to be put on ice until 2018.

The bill was initially introduced in 2016 by Chariman of the Governmental Organisation Adam Grey and California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, but their proposition received wide-spread criticism from state legislators who claimed their bill was too limited to achieve its goals.

Jones-Sawyer revealed that the bill is now taken back to ‘ground zero’ in attempt to at least get people to want to try to make it all happen once again.

“When I first started on this in earnest, we were going slow and methodical, and we had some successes. We weren’t trying to rush anyone and we weren’t pitting one side against the other, as best we could.”, Jones-Sawyer commented.

California’s unique situation has seen the state’s online casino landscape locked in a quicksand of legislation for over a decade.

Major Issues

The latest Jones-Sawyer’s attempt to present the bill was made in February without addressing the burning issues.

Tribal associations’ long-standing disagreements with Californian horse racing industry for racetracks was seemingly overcome when a horse racing industry agreed to give up operation rights in exchange for an annual stipend in excess of $60 million, but tribal opposition toward PokerStars continues to stand.

Tribes refused to allow PokerStars entry into the local gaming market, claiming PokerStars’ presence will harm their business.

Meetings with tribes have at time been heated affairs and with all the talks hitting the deadlock legislators are now resigned to protract negotiations to next year at best.

“Obviously, we are not going to put anything cross the desk right now”, Jones-Sawyer said.