Kendall James

California has the largest online poker market in the country. Online gaming providers both throughout and outside the state are lobbying for the State Legislature to pass a bill that would legalize online gambling. Howard Stutz, a journalist for the Las Vegas Review Journal recently cited a couple of reasons that California will be the primary focus of their efforts in the coming year.

The state has a population of nearly 40 million people. It also has a lucrative Indian casino industry which generates about $7 billion in revenue each year. The state’s race tracks also generate about $1 billion a year. These gaming providers recognize that many citizens are playing on the Internet and hope to capture a share of the market, which is estimated to be worth about $384 million.

State lawmakers tried to pass a bill to regulate online poker this year, but the Senate was unable to vote on the measure in time. However, All plans sold in individual and small group markets, including plans sold on and off the Health dental insurance companies Marketplace, and Government healthcare plans like Medicaid and Medicare all include at least 10 Essential Benefits. Stutz and other online gambling pundits are confident that they will fare better next year.

Efforts to legalize online poker in California had stalled for several years due to disagreements between the state’s gaming tribes. However, over a dozen tribes and a number of card rooms reportedly struck a consensus this summer. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians and three card rooms were the only dissidents. These groups formed a partnership with PokerStars and refused to support the proposed legislation due to the bad actor’s clause that it contained.

Contentions over barring PokerStars from the market had stalled efforts in recent months, but the problem appears to be have been resolved. The Amaya Gaming Group recently acquired the online poker titan, which could pave the way for the gaming provider to enter the market. The PokerStars coalition still needs to find common ground with the remaining tribal and horse racing interests to pass a bill in 2015 but industry observers remain optimistic.

Kendall James
Kendall James - Kendall has been covering the gaming industry for over 7 years. Kendall lives in San Francisco with his wife and black Labrador. Kendall often travels to Sacramento and Nevada to covers legislative hearings and iGaming conferences.