Thursday October 4,2013 : CALIFORNIA ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION NEXT YEAR?
Legalisation missed the legislative boat this year, but plenty of action is planned for 2014.
The California legislature has adjourned for the third consecutive year without legalising online gambling despite the introduction of the Wright and Correa online poker bills and a tribal initiative, but that has not deterred proponents, who are setting up further runs at legalization in the 2014 session.
Mondaq News reported Thursday that current estimates are that lawful gaming in California – through tribal casinos, commercial card rooms, racetracks, and the lottery – already generates over $10 billion in gross gambling revenue, an indication of the potential for online poker or wider internet gambling initiatives.
Glenn Feldman of law firm Dickinson Wright PLLC puts the blame on politics as differing interests either opposed online gambling or manoeuvred for best advantage in any new markets that might evolve.
Feldman details the differences that have stalled legalization, pointing to arguments on licensing fees, operator eligibility, "bad actor" provisions and tribal issues, but he remains optimistic that bridges can be built and consensus reached in 2014.
He says that there is a greater degree of agreement among the critical tribal lobby, and the distance separating the various proposals is narrowing as participants compromise and negotiate for common ground.
But most importantly, Feldman claims that everyone involved recognises that properly licensed and regulated online poker has the potential to provide significant economic benefits to all.