Online poker in the US has been fighting a long and hard battle. Movements so far have been very limited, with only a few states actually passing a US online poker regulation, with everyone else biding their time. It seems that everyone is waiting for other someone else to make the move so they could follow in their footsteps, but nobody is keen on making that first step. That’s why any and all positive news regarding the regulation is always welcome.
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NY Governor Signs DFS Bill
The bill regulating Daily Fantasy Sports in New York was delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo only a couple of days ago and Cuomo wasted no time signing the proposal, which was the last step necessary for the bill to become a full-fledged and applicable law.
The passing of the bill was a natural step forward for New York as DFS proved to be very popular and it made little sense to deny people one of their favorite pastimes. But here’s the kicker: the same could be said for online poker which, unfortunately, still remains unregulated. While 2016 did see some positive movements regarding US online poker regulation in the state, it is quite clear that New York players will have to wait some more before virtual cards are announce in the air.
However, the DFS regulation represents a big leap forward as it shows willingness to deal with issues of online gambling. Considering online poker would yield much bigger profit than fantasy sports according to estimates, as well as progress made in July, it stands to reason this legislation cannot be that far any more. In all likelihood, there will be regulated online poker in New York in 2017.
California Senate leader: Online poker legislation not a priority
According to a report from LA Times, the Senate leader in California, Kevin de León, does not consider the bill regulating online poker a priority. Although the bill is waiting for its turn in the Assembly, de León made it quite clear that he was “not in a rush” regarding either DFS or the Internet poker bill.
The progress in California has been mostly hindered by the opposition coming from the Pechanga coalition. The coalition is very keen on stopping so-called “bad actors,” which effectively means PokerStars, from applying for a license, and this issue makes the passage of the bill highly unlikely even if it does come up for a vote in the Assembly.
Future of the US online poker regulation
It seems that the US poker regulation keeps going in circles. As soon as one thing gets resolved, there is another one to come in the way. New York is finally moving forward, but things in California seem really shaky at the moment. The coalition doesn’t seem willing to budge, despite the provision which would enact a $20 million fee PokerStars would have to pay before being allowed to apply for a license.
The biggest problem with particular state regulation is clearly beyond simply ensuring safe playing environment. Now that online poker has been banned, there are different influences at work, all fighting for their share of the pie. In all of that, a player is the least of their concern.
The funny thing is: if it was up to players, the regulation would probably be passed on the federal level five years ago. But players only get to vote for their representatives in the government; they don’t actually listen or particularly care for what their voters want after that.
That’s politics for you…