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Expert: California Online Poker In 2015

No Legalization In 2014 Due To Election Year Says I. Nelson Rose


The state of California, which has a population greater than that of Canada, has been regarded, aside from a federal bill, as the top prize in the United States for the online gambling industry at large.

Efforts have taken place in the Golden State for years now with regards to authorizing online poker, but the powerful tribal gaming groups can’t come to a consensus.

Tribal gambling was a $27.9 billion market in the U.S. in 2012, and California is the top tribal gambling state ($6.78 billion). It has been immensely challenging to figure out how commercial betting groups, whether offshore or domestic, could be involved in the California market. Some seem to not want them in at all, while others would form partnerships.

There’s also the everlasting debate as to whether online games would hurt brick-and-mortar spending. It remains to be seen which side is correct.

Esteemed California gaming attorney I. Nelson Rose recently told The San Francisco Chronicle that since 2014 is an election year (there will be a battle for the governor’s seat) online poker legalization likely won’t happen within the next 12 months. In other words, 2015 at the earliest. But Rose is optimistic something will happen that year.

Others have expressed similar optimism that slowly but surely things will be solved and online poker will be legal in California. It’s just too lucrative of a business to pass up on forever.

David Quintana, a gaming lobbyist for several California tribes, told Card Player in May of last year that the odds were about 50-50 of something passing in 2013. Quintana said that in the past years he pegged the odds at zero for a bill being successful.

Right now, only Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have online poker.