DFS Takes Center Stage While Online Poker Thrown to the Wayside

Online poker legislation has been a hot topic of debate in the United States for a few years now. With Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada offering online poker since 2013, other states have considered following in their footsteps. Since 2014, we have seen other states consider legislation and even move bills forward, only to see the measures die before passing into law. Now it seems that online poker has taken a back seat so to speak as states begin to show increased interest in the daily fantasy sports industry.

DFS began to see more interest when New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman decided to rule the activity illegal within the state. Since that time, other states have begun to look at the industry and make decisions as to if the activity is legal, some even considering DFS legislation for regulation of the industry.

In the state of California, the California Assembly recently passed the Fantasy Sports Games Protection Act, which would license and regulate daily fantasy sports gaming. This passage, which puts the bill in the Senate for consideration, comes just after the topic was the subject of a hearing within the Assembly. The bill AB 1437 now moves forward and if it continues at the current pace, the bill could pass into law and see DFS regulated and licensed within the state.

While the news is good for DFS players who might have lost the activity, like other states, the decision to move the bill forward has poker proponents hustling to get in on the action. The Poker Players Alliance group continues to push for online poker legislation and have now spoke up after the passage of AB 1437.

The PPA wants to see poker considered now that DFS has also been considered. The hearing which included DFS discussions was also supposed to concern online poker but the topic of poker was removed from the agenda. This was done despite the fact that residents of the state take part in unregulated online poker gaming sites.

When poker was dropped from the hearing agenda, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association spoke out on how they were unhappy to see online poker removed. The Chairman of the group, Steve Stallings, called for online poker to be legalized before DFS should even be discussed.

The DFS bill actually was voted forward 62 to 1 and John Pappas, the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, decided to speak out on the matter. Pappas stated that if it is a priority to protect consumers who take part in DFS activity within legislature, then it should also be a priority to protect online poker gamers as well. The PPA is urging legislators to move immediately with legislation that will protect residents of the state who want to take part in online poker gaming with authorization and regulation.

Pappas wants California to ensure players that their money is protected and that fraudulent activity is regulated. Efforts need to be put in place to protect children who are underage from taking part in online poker gaming. Legislature should act now, according to Pappas, to be able to corral the unregulated market and replace it with one that will be safe and accountable for players as well as the state.

For now, online poker players will have to just wait and see what the state will do in regards to DFS and online poker gaming. It would not be surprising to see the state move forward with online poker legislation but it does seem the state is focused on DFS for now.