A recent study indicates that up to 9 states may consider legislation to approve online poker and gambling during the course of this year.
The report from Gambling Compliance lists Illinois, California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Hawaii, Colorado, Iowa and Massachusetts as states where legislatures may debate Internet gambling proposals in 2014. The study also adds that New Jersey may expand its online gambling offerings by authorizing interstate and international wagering.
One of the states on the list, Mississippi, saw an online gambling proposal die earlier this week when lawmakers failed to take action. Yet another state, Hawaii, has repeatedly seen gambling bills fall by the wayside over the years and remains one of only two states without any type of legalized gambling.
California‘s efforts at legalization remain stalled mainly due to the state’s powerful Indian tribes. Leaders from a couple tribal coalitions had a sit-down last month and reportedly made progress on the matter. But additional pow-wows will likely be required before a bill can be voted upon by legislators.
The report also revealed that the prospects of online poker legislation at the federal level remain bleak. While that has been the case for quite some time, the newly-formed Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, the Internet Gambling Control Act, spearheaded by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson decrease the odds even more.
While the GC report is encouraging for online poker players in the listed states who are hoping for regulation, there is no guarantee that any of them will join Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey in enacting Internet gambling legislation this year. It is worth noting that 10 states considered the regulation of online gaming last year.
Online poker players in the U.S. who are not in New Jersey, Delaware or Nevada have the option of playing at a number of poker rooms that cater to American players. While unregulated, U.S. poker sites such as Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker continue to offer attractive first-time deposit bonuses and speedy cashouts that have satisfied U.S. players.
The majority of the online poker industry would be overjoyed if any of those 9 states that are said to be considering regulation would actually do so. However, realistically, most if not all will remain on the rail in 2014, leaving U.S. players to take advantage of available offers and play Internet poker at the likes of Full Flush Poker. The Equity Poker Network skin that launched three months ago continues to gain players and is a solid choice for Americans who are waiting on legislation in their home states.