Posts Tagged ‘online poker in california’

California Online Poker Progress On Hold

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

After a 5-year continuation of one unsuccessful attempt after another to legalize online poker in California – the once considered most favorable state to enter the online gambling market in the US – proponents are once again scratching their collective heads wondering when and if.

One of two bills that have been created in an effort to legalize online poker play in California was put on hold recently, with several lawmakers taking the position there was not enough time left before the current 2014 legislative session to make changes to the law and add further meticulous standards required to get the bill passed successfully through the House.

The delayed bill, SB 1366, was drafted by Senator Lou Correa, who happens to be the chairman of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee (the same committee that oversees gambling in the State), has seen a tough battle in regards to interstate compacts and tribal casinos.

AB 2291 is the other bill, and us widely considered by industry insiders as an answer to most everything that initial goals failed to use in persuading a positive outcome from the get-go. It seeks to permit and regulate online poker legislation, and is currently waiting a hearing date.

Three US states are already live with websites offering a variety of online casino games. California is seeking online poker legislature only at this point. California was initially considered to be one of the top three states to legislate, yet roadblocks from tribal communities looking to stave off land-based gaming failure should online casinos become legal, as well as disagreements over interstate game play, have gotten in the way of any legislative success at this time. Now we wait once again.

Still, there is room for optimism, as there are several lawmakers in favor of online poker. But whether they will get a bill passed before succumbing to opposition and political pressure from the other side of the house floor is of some concern.

The bottom line is that the main failure in getting a bill passed stems from various arguments over specifics in the two existing bills. Lingering issues between lawmakers and several casinos and poker sites that operated within California before authorities cracked down on them remain. Bad actor clauses are being considered to ensure sites that operated improperly before the crackdown are not permitted to legally operate in the state, and is creating a lot of argument.

California’s tribal casinos are the other main roadblock. There are dozens of land-based tribal casinos in the state of California which provide all the gambling services available in the state. Understandably, they are very concerned that online poker sites will greatly affect the revenue generated at these brick ‘n mortar casinos.

Earlier in this year, the outcome of a bill getting passed seemed very probable. Then, waning income and less-than-stellar earnings from existing online casinos in the US led to a slower urgency to get a bill passed. While in wait, California lawmakers will certainly be keeping close tabs on the online casino operators in the three states where online gambling is regulated. We are likely looking to the very beginning of 2015 before any bill could get a casino online in California.

California Delays Online Poker Bill

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

After a laborious 5 year span of trying to execute an effective bill to legalize online poker in California, it seems as though another year will slip on by until we see another attempt.

Many industry insiders would argue that it was largely expected that online poker would have a good future with seemingly swift legislature after the US government decided to leave the decision up to individual states for regulation of various forms of online gambling activity. Yet, it all seems practically lost, as attempt after attempt has been unsuccessful to bring forth a viable bill legalizing poker online in California.

Just last week, California lawmakers involved in getting poker legalized online came to the decision that bills in favor of legislation will have to wait it out again. California Senator Lou Correa actually vacated his current bill, SB 1366 altogether, and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer has postponed his bill, AB 2291, for the time being.

When various states initially lined up in favor of online wagering activity after being given the green light to legislate, all eyes were on Nevada and its neighbor California, where many gaming insiders believed a business deal largely known as an interstate compact would be created without much delay. California was never in favor of legislating non-skill based games, but a deal to pool poker players from each state would have created extra revenue and make both parties happy.

In the timeline since initial buzz was created and several bills were put forth in California to get the ball rolling, many key topics have caused snags in the plan of California going ahead with online poker legislation. The future in California now depends upon the ability for lawmakers to iron out the hurdles at hand. The next time any possible advancement could take place is now December 2014, effectively making 2015 the next possible year to place any poker wagers online in California.

According to Jones-Sawyer, who is now effectively left holding the bag, the ultimate issue behind the bill’s shelving was that there was no longer enough time in this session to work out the language issue with the bills. He stated that he will have a new bill on the floor in December, essentially giving all stakeholders an additional five months to reflect. Others would say this is a calculated delay by proponents themselves.

There is heavy tribal involvement in the state of California, and it’s is widely expected that tribes will also use this extra delay as time to watch the Amaya deal unfold and learn a thing or two. Watching Amaya’s dealings within the New Jersey online gambling market will be a wise move as it could reveal important information regarding the outcome of PokerStars’ attempt at reentry into the US market via Amaya, which is wrapping up purchase of the largest online poker brand’s parent company.

Also at hand, and referring back to language issues, horse racetracks are involved in the proposed legislature in California. There is a potential for time-consuming legal challenges that could cause further delay with any online casino, gambling or poker legislature should the tracks not be included in the ability to join the market for online gambling in California.

Its is also expected that racing involvement – not necessarily wagering on races – but taking poker bets at tracks online, or any other aspect for that matter, would increase competition; But a racetrack’s overall effect on the market would be meager should PokerStars make its way back into the US fold. If a PokerStars deal is struck, a racetrack deal would inevitably materialize – sooner than later, too.

Until December, we’ll be watching the outcome of PokerStars via Amaya.

Atlantis Internet Group Signs With Cake to Power Tribal Online Poker

Monday, September 13th, 2010

AtlantisInternetGroup2In what could be a sign of things to come for online casino gambling in the United States, Las Vegas-based Atlantis Internet Group has signed an agreement with the popular Cake Poker Network (powering U.S. favorite, Doyle’s Room), to create a wide area online poker network for players residing in regulated tribal casino State’s.

While this may seem, at first, a bold and dangerous move in light of the UIGEA – albeit an ineffective online gambling ban – Atlantis Internet Group Chief Executive, Donald L. Bailey, says the agreement will give the Tribal Gaming Network (a patent pending intratribal/intrastate online casino network) an “immediate and legal solution” for tribes seeking to offer internet betting.

That’s because the UIGEA has exemptions for Indian Casinos, intertribal internet gaming, as well as State’s with intrastate online gambling laws. Personally, that’s news to me – I thought the only carveouts in the UIGEA were for horseracing, lotto and fantasy sports betting.

TribalGamingNetworkBut according to the National Indian Gaming Commission, which oversees tribal casino regulations in the State’s, the Tribal Gaming Network is 100% legit. It’s also 100% loaded. Synced with over ten tribal casinos and potentially allowing players in thirty State’s to play online casino games, the Tribal Gaming Network has the potential of offering one of the largest wide area progressive jackpot networks on the Web.

For now, Atlantis Internet Group has it’s sights on online poker, which currently holds the greatest potential of becoming regulated in State’s where tribal casino gambling is legal. California leads the way with an amended poker bill scheduled for legislative action before the year is out, while both New Jersey & Florida are considering similar options.

The Cake Network is certainly a great choice for launching an online poker network. With thousands of players online at any given moment and an open door to the U.S. online poker market, Cake will give the Tribal Gaming Network instant liquidity, not to mention credibility, while a giant surpluss of players will only serve to strenghten Cake in return.

When it Comes to a Popularity Contest, Nothing is More Popular Than Online Poker

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Obamaga: The Quest for Facebook Popularity & Online Poker

Obamaga: The Quest for Facebook Popularity & Online Poker

I’ve never been one to keep track of who is the most popular. Chalk it up to the fact that I was never popular myself, nor ever wanted to be, the whole notion of being popular has just always seemed like a shallow concept to me. So no, I really don’t give a crap whether President Barack Obama or pop-star diva Lady Gaga has more Facebook fans, although I have to admit the buzz surrounding a Facebook runoff between the two is fascinating.

Alright, so basically I read an interesting article over at Online Casino Reports stating that Lady Gaga has overtaken President Obama with more Facebook fans. Gaga’s is a whopping 9.9 million fans, while the prez has only 9.4 million. Of course, this is perfect fodder for Republicans and the rest of the anti-Obama establishment who will no doubt turn this into a bumper sticker, or even better, encourage Sara Palin to use it as a debate argument in her next campaign for President.

In terms of online gambling – I mean, this is an online gambling blog and all – you might be wondering where I’m going with all this. Well, although you wouldn’t be far off in conjecturing that the Facebook fan runoff between Obama and Gaga has prompted Bodog and Paddy Power to offer future’s odds on the outcome, what’s more interesting is the fact that neither Barack nor Lady G have more votes than online poker.

To be more precise, there’s apparently a Zynga poker page that has more fan votes than any other page in the “book of faces”. There’s over 20.2 million to be exact – with nearly 150,000 subscribers just through YouTube. That’s more than my fair lady G and Prez O combined. That’s pretty telling if you ask me.

And the funniest (well, maybe not funny to everybody) is the fact that the U.S. government still hasn’t legalized internet poker nor online casino gambling, and that even California – where online poker is sooooo close to getting legalized – may not be able to pull through after all. I mean, I can understand some hesitation legalizing online sports betting, Uncle Sam, but casino and poker? You might as well make Lady Gaga illegal, and Facebook while your at it.

Delay to Vote on Bill for Regulating Online Poker in California

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

With all this talk about the State of California on the move to legalize online gambling (at least online poker rooms, that is), it looks like the detractors, or rather, those who would oppose said regulation, have gotten wind of the building momentum and have surged forward with a resistant blast of their own.

With the bill to regulate internet poker due up for a vote yesterday, and considering that vote never took place, it appears that resistance to regulate online gambling in California is having it’s way. But don’t let that make you think the move to get the bill passed is a “dead process”, says Senator Rob Wright.

Senator Wright is an important name to know in this unfolding story, for it was Mr. Wright who was largely responsible for derailing the vote for another time. However, it was also Senator Wright who put the bill together in the first place. So, in as much as derailing the vote may come across as a delay tactic or strategy to build opposition, Senator Wright was quick to avoid sparking doubt with others in support of regulation by stating, “Just because we don’t do this today doesn’t mean people are going to stop playing Internet poker.”

In other words, it really does look as if California is going to regulate online poker. With 10% of the revenue generated by online poker rooms going back to the State – which, needless to say – is in dire need of deficit curbing revenue, the prospects to make online poker rooms legal in the most populous state in America.

How High is the Hype for Regulating Online Poker in California?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Introducing the chest...err...face of California's poker scene: Jennifer Tilly

Introducing the chest...err...face of California's poker scene: Jennifer Tilly

With all the talk about the impending enforcement date of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) this upcoming Tuesday, it seems that motions to consider regulating online gambling both on a federal and State level are springing up left and right. Well, if there ever was a time when online gambling in the States stood a good chance of being regulated, now is it.

The only thing I’m wondering is this: Since when were individual State’s permitted to offer online casino games under their own jurisdiction? Apparently, since forever. Making all the internet poker headlines right now is a bill being penned at this very moment that would essentially legalize online poker in the State of California.

Following last week’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing to consider the prospects of taxing internet betting (which apparently went over pretty well), the word on the streets is that although the UIGEA bans “illegal online gambling” on a federal level, State’s still have the right to regulate on their own accord. Okay, so maybe I’m the only one that has been in the dark about this, but I thought that State’s couldn’t do anything to regulate online gambling so long as the UIGEA was in effect.

But than again, perhaps it all amounts to hesitancy on the part of State government officials faced with trying to pass a highly controversial issue which the federal government and no other State  has even attempted doing. Whatever it comes down to, just as is this is the best time to get regulation going in the States, no other State is better suited to pass online gambling legislation than the State of California.

Stepping up to the plate on behalf of California, is Senator Rod Wright, who leads the committee that overseas gambling in California. Senator Wright’s aforementioned bill, specifically calls for the regulation of online poker, which would no doubt make a huge dent in the State’s $19.1 billion budget gap through June 2011.

Differing from a tribal initiative that would create an intrastate poker network, Wright’s bill would give the State Department of Justice the means to award 5-year contracts to three California-based online poker room operators, who would obviously have to meet financial and technical requirements. No doubt, there are online poker rooms monitoring the situation very closely and ready to set up shop in California. They certainly aren’t knocking on the Dept. of Justice door just yet, as getting an online poker network up-and-running could take two to three years, especially if there are challenges to the legislation.

Possible resistance could come from tribal leaders, some of whom fear that legalized online poker would steal revenue from their land-based casinos. Furthermore, there is speculation that Wright’s bill violates past agreements that limit competition from casinos. As for getting California poker players to buy-in, that’s another matter altogether. The bill would make gambling at non-State licensed online poker rooms a crime. Needless to say, if the State-licensed rooms aren’t giving players enough incentive, they will likely be inclined to play somewhere else online, regardless of being illegal or not.

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