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California Online Poker Efforts Shelved Indefinitely

Very Little Chance Bill Will Move Forward This Year: Report


It’s been 10 years since lawmakers in California began looking at regulating state-licensed online poker sites. Nothing has ever come to fruition.

It was already unlikely that 2017 would be any different, but, according to OnlinePokerReport, California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, sponsor of the current online poker bill, has said definitively that there won’t be any action on it this year.

The debate could be restarted next year, but there’s no guarantee.

California tribes haven’t been able to come to a consensus on how to regulate the industry. Some don’t want PokerStars being allowed entry into the market.

The Golden State online poker market is thought to be the most lucrative of its kind in the nation. The state has about 40 million people, which is more than Canada.

Steve Stallings, chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, told Card Player earlier this month that there’s been less of a PokerStars lobbying presence in Sacramento lately.

Amaya, parent company of PokerStars, is generating more and more of its revenue from online games other than poker, a shift that’s noteworthy for the future of California online poker efforts.

According to Stallings, it could be a “turning point” if PokerStars ever decided to abandon plans to offer online poker in the state through its brick-and-mortar partners.

California has only considered peer-to-peer online poker and not other games like blackjack or slots, though it’s been said that poker could be the gateway game.