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California Won't Consider Online Poker In 2018

The Issue Not Expected To Be Formally Discussed This Year


For the first time in a decade, the Golden State won’t be home to an online poker debate.

Per Online Poker Report, no bill is expected to be pushed this year. A bill introduced last year by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer is dead on arrival in 2018.

Despite the nation’s most coveted intrastate online poker market, California’s tribal gaming groups and card rooms can’t come to an agreement on how an online poker industry should be set up and regulated. The potential revenue pie is only so large, and California has 70 tribal casinos and nearly 80 card rooms. In the past, some politically powerful tribes objected to legislation that would have allowed PokerStars, the largest poker site in the world, to tap into the California poker player pool.

While online poker has stalled, state lawmakers have started to prepare for a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows for sports betting to occur nationwide.

In the months after California’s online poker efforts were shelved indefinitely last spring, Pennsylvania legalized online casinos, and Nevada and New Jersey finally announced a partnership to share online gaming player pools.

Pennsylvania could eventually join in (Delaware already shares its market with Nevada), which could create a robust four-state online poker player pool. There’d be nearly 26 million people exposed to online poker between those four states.

California has about 40 million people.