Will Online Poker Be Legalized In California?

California is the next state that’s considering legalizing online poker. It should come as no surprise that one of the most populous states in the country is doing so. Even poker professionals such as Daniel Negreanu have weighed in on the matter. Here we’re going to discuss what’s ahead for poker in California. It’s not as cut dry as many may see it. There’s still quite a few obstacles that need to be overturned before Californians will be able to play online poker.

It appears that several Indian tribes have not backed the idea of online poker. Let’s be honest and say that it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The tribes operate casinos and they feel online poker would cut into their profits. This may be true, only time will tell.

Here’s a couple of quotes I pulled from this article:

Poker superstar Daniel Negreanu pointed out, “We already have regulated online gaming in the U.S. We just don’t have it in what we would consider a progressive state like California. And I think it’s a no-brainer that it will happen. It’s just a question of when.”

Industry expert Steve “Chops” Preiss said so far the tribes saying no have been effective.

“They have absolutely been more unified. They have spent better, smarter dollars. They’ve thrown up all the effective roadblocks they’ve needed to keep this from happening,” said Preiss.

It’s important to realize that a casino can offer things that an online poker room can’t. Food, refreshments, and entertainment are just a few of the things that brick and mortar casinos can offer that online services can’t. It may also be possible for the Indian tribes themselves to get in on the action. It has to be something that many of them at the very least has considered.

poker-legalizationAt some point the Indian tribes aren’t going to be effective at stopping online poker. It’s already clear that there are some heavy hitters ready to get involved. Pokerstars is already waiting in the wings to see what California will do next. They’ve already inked a deal with New Jersey and California certainly could be next.

Roughly 71% of online poker players already play at Pokerstars. This means they’ve got the know how to pull something like this off. They know the world of online poker inside and out. No one has a better opportunity to lead California to online gaming bliss than they do.

State Assemblyman Adam Gray is currently working on a bill to legalize online poker. There seems to be no indication either way what will happen with this bill. Let’s not forget that Governor Jerry Brown would have to sign it into law. He also hasn’t came out in regards to online poker.

It’s going to be a matter of time before we know where everyone in the state stands regarding this issue. It’s clear that many poker players want to be able to enjoy the game they love on the internet. What isn’t clear is if the lawmakers are listening to their constituents. We’ll know who is and who isn’t if a vote ever does take place.

It doesn’t matter if you live in California or Florida, playing online poker is a right. No person reading this is deterred from playing poker because a state hasn’t legalized it. It’s only when our elected officials realize this things will change. People are already playing and nothing they do is going to change that. What they can change is the legitimacy of the game.

Every lawmaker has the ability to ensure that the public is playing at a fair and trustworthy poker site. That’s something that every politician and government official should want. Not to mention the tax revenues every state would gain from legalizing online poker.