According to the Poker Player Alliance (PPA), it will only be a matter of time before California and its 38 million residents join the fray.
In the past twelve months, the online poker landscape has shifted dramatically. Whereas state regulated online poker was little more than a dream in 2012, it has become a staunch reality in 2013. Online poker is already available in Nevada, with two sites (Ultimate Poker and WSOP) already opening their virtual doors for business. New Jersey is poised to launch its operation in November and Delaware shortly after that. Several other states are at least close to passing online poker legislation.
Then there’s California. To advocates of online poker, California is the equivalent of the Holy Grail. Swarms of people, a thriving poker community and home to some of the largest cardrooms in the United States – if California passed online poker legislation holdout states would be forced to at least acknowledge the potential profitability and widespread appeal of online poker.
Unfortunately, last month bill SB 678, which was introduced earlier this year by California State Senator Lou Correa and classified as an emergency bill, failed to make any headway. But just because California won’t see online poker in 2013 doesn’t mean that the prospect of state regulated online poker is off the table.
In a recent interview with Becky Liggero, PPA Executive Director John Pappas stated that he expects legislation to be passed in California in 2014. For those who don’t already know, the PPA is a conglomerate of poker players and enthusiasts whose mission is to provide players with regulated poker, and to promote poker as a game of skill. The non-profit organization is considered an authority on poker and statements made by its high ranking members usually resonant throughout the poker community.
During the interview, Pappas stated that California’s tribes are suddenly onboard with online poker, and that once the details are fleshed out, it is only a matter of time before poker is regulated in the Golden State. Pappas went on record stating that
I would be very surprised if there wasn’t a bill that went through the full process by the end of January, middle of February in 2014 in California.
Pappas went onto state that there is sufficient interest in another landmark state – New York – to warrant the possibility of an online poker bill. If a bill is presented, the PPA is expected to dedicate a large portion of its efforts to helping it pass.
Unfortunately, Pappas is not quite as optimistic when it comes to a federally regulated bill, citing other more pressing issues like Syria, healthcare and immigration reform as roadblocks.
But really, if enough highly populated states like New York, Pennsylvania and California pass poker legislations and allow interstate compacts, will federal legislation even be necessary?
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