Slim Chances for iPoker in California Says State Assemblyman

Since 2014, Mike Gatto has been trying to see the state of California enter the online poker gaming industry. As an Assemblyman of the state, Gatto introduced a bill during December of 2014, hoping to see the measure move forward and California join Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada in offering online poker gaming. This was not to be as stakeholders in the gambling industry could not seem to come to an agreement as to how the gaming option should come to be.

Within a few months of his proposal, Gatto realized revisions needed to be made on his initial projections of a 50% chance that online poker would pass in 2015 and then changed his feelings to around a 35% chance for 2016. Now it seems that Gatto, feels there is a very slim chance that online poker will come to fruition in the state. Speaking with PokerNews, Gatto stated that he feels the state has a less than 10% chance to pass legislation allowing for online poker gaming.

The lack of urgency to enter the industry combined with constant disagreement between invested parties continues to see the state not moving forward with legislation. Online poker continues to be pushed to the backburner time and time again.

Gatto stated that legislation and interested parties have their egos involved and for any legislation to pass, people will be needing to be more collaborative in their efforts. Legislation requires a 2/3 vote to pass and this will not happen until all parties are willing to compromise. The state has been discussing online poker for eight years now and it seems discussions are going nowhere.

The biggest stalemate stems from the horse racing industry. Indian gaming tribes of the state see no reason why the horse race tracks should be involved while the tracks feel they should have the option if they so choose. This back and forth has been a main reason why the state has not been able to come to some kind of agreement on legislation in regards to online poker gaming.

According to Gatto, there is plenty of money to be made if online poker is allowed within the state. Various entities could be involved and money could be made. Gatto compares the money to be made with the gold rush of California. It was not the miners who were making the most money, many times it was the stores selling the shovels. There are many aspects to online poker gaming and everyone could be involved and have the ability to make money.

Gatto has tried to make this point time and time again that there are so many different ways to configure the industry, that everyone would have the opportunity to make money, the tribes, card rooms, horse tracks and the state. Gatto feels that his statements are falling on deaf ears because it doesn’t seem that anyone is willing to do the work to get legislation passed.

The Assemblyman also feels that because California has been doing well financially, there is no rush to see online poker passed. Other states, such as New Jersey, passed online poker measures to be able to bring in additional revenues. While California could always use more money, there is no real need to bring about revenues that online poker could produce.

For now, Gatto will keep trying and hopefully some movement will be made in regards to legislation and online poker. Without everyone working together though, it seems that the state will stay in limbo, being interested in offering online poker gaming but not enough interest to see legislation created and passed to create a licensed and regulated environment.