New York and California Fall Behind in iPoker Regulation Efforts

United States online poker players have been hoping for some time to see another state join Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware as an option for game play. However, no state has yet to come close to offering such gaming options. There are a few who have considered legislation, even had measures up for consideration but no movement means no online poker activity within a particular state. New York and California seemed to be in the running to capture the title as the next state to offer services but it does not seem to be taking shape, especially for this year.

The iGaming North American Conference of 2016 was revealing in the fact that New York will most likely not pass online poker legislation this year. J. Gary Pretlow is a state assemblyman of New York who stated that he feels online poker will be a long shot to pass this year. S5302 is a bill currently on the table within the state that moved quickly through the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering in February but has yet to gain any additional ground.

Pretlow feels that the gaming option will not come to fruition due to having to please everyone who would be involved in the process of online poker gaming as well as how to keep children from using online poker sites. Prelow is optimistic that daily fantasy sports legislation will past this year before online poker. Both could be on the table at the same time, but it seems highly unlikely as of right now.

For now New York will not be in contention to become the next state to get in on the poker gaming action online. Moving on to California, there have been years of trouble for the state when it comes to trying to pass iPoker legislation. Tribal interests, card rooms, race tracks and legislators cannot seem to come to an agreement as to who should be involved as well as how they should be involved.

It also seems that the insider trading charges recently announced against David Baazov, the CEO of Amaya Gaming, are straining talks in the state. A coalition of tribes, with the Pechanga tribe at the helm, have been fighting for some time to see a bad actor clause added to legislation. This would stop such sites as PokerStars, owned by Amaya, from operating in the state since they were operating after the UIGEA and faced charges for their actions.

The coalition feels that PokerStars and other operators who offered US residents services after UIGEA are in the wrong and would give the industry a bad name. It seemed like the tribes were at a point where they would overlook bad actor clauses just to get the industry off the ground in the state but now that this has occurred, it may take their change of mind off the table. These charges of course are only accusations so should be taken with a grain of salt until more is released on the subject, but the issue is sure to bring even more contention to the state’s efforts to pass legislation in regards to online poker.

While Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey do well with online gaming offerings, it may still be some time before we see another state getting in on the action. It seems that there are states that are interested in offering the activity but legislators cannot seem to come to a decision on how exactly their state should offer online poker as well as revenue usage, taxes, licensing, etc. Time will only tell if an additional state will offer online poker gaming before 2016 comes to an end.