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Don't Bet On California Online Poker This Year Or Next Year

Lawmaker Pegs Chances In 2016 At About 35 Percent


The situation with online poker in California might be more tilting than anything that could happen to you at the poker table.

As the weeks move by in 2015, it has become clearer and clearer that online poker almost surely won’t be legalized in California this year. The odds of it happening in calendar year 2016 apparently aren’t good either.

That’s according to one of the lawmakers currently pushing an online poker bill in the Golden State. Altogether, there are four distinct proposals on the table right now in California that would lead to licensing online poker sites with a physical presence in the state and regulating them.

However, don’t be fooled by the fact that there are so many web poker bills right now.

According to California-based Adam Krejcik of Eilers Research, California lawmaker Mike Gatto, who introduced his poker bill in December, said at a recent gathering of gaming interests and other insiders in Sacramento that going into this year he pegged the odds of an Internet poker bill passing in the state at about 50-50. Now, Gatto believes the chances for 2016 are 35 percent. In other words, his optimism has been severely downgraded over the past 12 weeks or so.

As was the case last year, election years pose challenges to something as complex as an online poker bill. It might not be long before Gatto, or someone else in California, comes out and says 2016 is likely drawing dead. California has seen web poker proposals for years.

No California legislator has ever cast a vote on an online poker proposal.

The problem in California is that there are a bunch of groups involved with the gaming industry, broadly speaking, who have conflicting opinions on how online poker in California should be authorized and regulated. There are so many gaming interests in the state, and they apparently fear that their piece of the gaming industry pie could be diminished.

Though keeping straight their specific desires might be challenging and complex, especially as they evolve slightly over time, the picture of the overall situation is very simple. No one wants to lose business to a competitor thanks to a new online poker industry taking off in California.