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California Online Poker Efforts Likely Dead For 2013

However, 'Anything Is Possible' Says Source Close To Bills


Another year is set to go by without California legalizing online poker. The legislative session in the Golden State ends in about a month, and the odds are stacked against the issue.

Though, a person close to the legislative efforts told Card Player on Wednesday that “anything is possible.” Like always, a one-outer could be hit on the river.

If there is no movement on either SB 51 or SB 678 before the mid-September deadline, it is extremely unlikely the issue would be called up in a special session before the end of the year. In other words, California online poker would be forced into 2014.

Some in the state have been pushing for years to legalize real-money gaming on the web.

According to the person close to the bills, there was no action in 2013 because of the same old disagreements. Tribal gaming groups just can’t come to any consensus on who should be allowed to be licensed to participate in a California market.

Many especially don’t want out-of-state commercial firms to come in and take the profits. The state has more than 37 million people, more than any other in the country.

Back in May, David Quintana, a lobbyist for several tribes working on a new piece of legislation, told Card Player that the odds were about 50-50 of something passing in 2013.

There does seem to be one positive change to the sentiment floating around the legislative halls in California with regards to online poker. Some in the state may be more open to the idea of California partnering with another jurisdiction to create even larger player pools for the games, according to the source. Last year, Card Player was told that it was likely that the state would go stag to the web poker dance, if it ever legalizes the activity.

While California is bogged down by what has become a perennial debate, Nevada has kicked off its intrastate industry. Ultimate Poker launched there this spring. New Jersey also legalized online gambling earlier this year and plans to see its first real-money games this fall.



over 4 years ago

Funny how "Tribal Gaming" trumps individual freedoms, our government now feels we are here to serve them. These are sad days indeed!


over 4 years ago

Like Custer always said fricking Indians...


over 4 years ago

ENOUGH WITH WHAT THE TRIBES WANT!!! they are allowed to have whatever they want on their land! each tribe is a sovereign nation and is allowed to do what they want.

however, this does not cover the internet. they are on their land and allowed to make their money any way they want.

we dont want 100 little different sites being regulated by a bunch of people that have no rights to my money on the internet!!!!

we want POKERSTARS AND FULL TILT!!!! the state of california should sign companies like pokerstars with a license fee and then take in 15 percent of the rake. everyone wins. the government wins, pokerstars wins, and we win....we dont want what you are doing. CHANGE IT NOW!!!!


over 4 years ago

Can someone clarify exactly which Indian casino's are holding the legislation so that we can start a boycott of these casino's ASAP!!


over 4 years ago


listen here california government. WE DO NOT WANT 100 LITTLE STUPID SITES....the citizens want pokerstars and full tilt, etc. we want to play HUGE tournaments and on sites with a lot of traffic for a better experience for cash games too.

indian tribes get to do what they want on their own land. i get that. but how you guys think that translates to them being in charge of poker on the internet is beyond me.

the california government could be making money tomorrow if you want to!!!!!! charge each site that wants to run in the state a license fee...a million a month, 10 million a year, whatever is reasonable. and then take part of the rake. 15 percent or whatever is deemed fair!!!

this is like the u.s. government giving full tilt customers their money back from the scam. pokerstars bought full tilt and could have given back everyone their money in one day. instead that beuracracy is making the process take two years to give back their money.

GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. the people want to play and you want to make your revenue. QUIT MAKING IT SO DIFFICULT!!!!!


over 4 years ago

California's politicians, like the federal government's and every other state's, are the best money can buy. Until that stops being true, the wants and needs of the masses will be at the whim of those who can afford them.