California Opts Against Online Poker Legalization

California Opts Against Online Poker Legalization

2018 won’t be the year in which the state of California will be making the online poker regulation breakthrough. With Friday looming – the date that was set as a deadline for any proposal of the bill that will see this matter take off – not one proponent of this cause has yet weighed in.

Over the past decade there has been a lot of efforts trying to unite California’s tribes who are at odds with each other when it comes to the question of regulation of online poker and sports betting. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer has confirmed that, for the first time since 2013, he will not be filing a poker regulation bill as he admits, “all parties involved need to take a break.”

Due to the great divide existing among tribes and other operators, Jones-Sawyer is not willing to sacrifice his time and energy into an operation that will almost certainly fail: “The process was very contentious, and some people still need some time to heal. The best thing that came out of those discussions was the fact that we were discussing it. People were very open and honest about their feelings for online poker. I think we provided, here in our office, a safe place to express their feelings,” he said.

This is how things stand in the state right now: the Morongo Coalition group of operators would like PokerStars, with whom they have a commercial deal, to be included in the state’s future poker market. Pechanga Coalition, however, doesn’t want that as they have no deal with PokerStars. Both sides are adamant they won’t change their stance.

However, there may be a true dawn on California’s horizon, as all eyes are on US Supreme Court making a decision regarding New Jersey’s sports betting regulation. If that should succeed, California would follow suit and, via regulating sports betting, legalize online poker as well! A bill that would kick-start the referendum asking the state to legalize sports betting should New Jersey prove successful has already been introduced.

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