Jim “Pocket Bullets” Paris
As just about everybody knows, currently online poker is regulated in only three US states: Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, with California getting closer by the second. Of course, poker fans have been hearing that for a very long time, so here’s the latest.
On Monday August 22, 2016, a new amended AB 2863 Online Poker Bill will be reviewed, with an amendment that will enforce a five-year ban for PokerStars in the Golden State. In other words, Monday’s vote will decide PokerStars’ fate.
Although California, my home state, has made some progress in struggling through years of negotiations, regulations and hurdles necessary to get a bill legalizing online poker to pass, it is still illegal in the Golden State. As hard as it’s for me to believe after so much time has gone by, there is still one huge obstacle to overcome: a majority of hard-line Native American tribes simply do not want PokerStars to enter the market and take any piece of their action.
That is the reason why the five-year moratorium has been introduced. Hopefully, it will receive a majority vote so that after all these years the bill can finally be advanced to the Senate.
Five years certainly seems like a very long time for the online players to wait around for all this legal mumbo-jumbo to finally be unraveled. But what is worse, in my humble opinion, is the loss of all the extra gold that would come into the Golden State.
So in the meantime, Californians will return to the offline poker tables and dream about when they can legally play for real money online in their PJs if they choose to. Like they can in every other country.