California Likely to Legalize Online Gambling
As we approach the end of 2014, it may feel like we’ve made little to no progress in regards to the expansion of legalized online gambling. There’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes, but there’s very little to show for it. According to one expert, that’ll all change in 2015.
I. Nelson Rose, a lawyer and scholar of gambling law in the United States, thinks it’ll happen for California next year. “I think there’s a very good chance it will happen in 2015,” he said, citing that the only reason it didn’t happen in 2014 is because it’s an election year.
“The problem is purely political. California has politically powerful gaming tribes and card clubs, who have nothing against Internet poker, as long as they are the ones to run it. But politicians are only looking at raising revenue, not protecting local operators. So they want big money players like Caesars Entertainment. An added wrench in the works is that one group of operators wants to team up with PokerStars, so their potential competitors had ‘Bad Actors’ provisions added to the bills. Once a political solution is worked out, and it is not an election year, the Legislature will approve Internet poker for California.”
Once approved, the entire landscape will shift. California has a population of nearly 40 million people. That many people, coupled with no deposit promotions that some sites may run to drive in traffic, would have be an enormous help to the state. California’s hurting for cash, and this could be the thing that saves them.
As we mentioned last week, one tribal group isn’t waiting, and they’re opening their doors this week. They operate under their own law, so they’re well within their right to run a site. The numbers that that site generates will be seen as encouraging and will only speed up the legalization of online gambling in California.
This has been a long time coming for California. The issue of online gambling has been debated for about five years now, and there’s little to nothing to show for it. Using that fact alone, it’s easy to see why some wouldn’t be optimistic about 2015. After all, history often repeats itself, so many probably feel like they’re fighting a losing battle.
To combat that train of thought, take a look around. Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have legalized online gambling and are making a decent amount of money from it. Pennsylvania is currently mulling it over. West Virginia is voting next month. The entire world of Internet gaming is changing, and California will eventually get with the times, but it’ll likely be next year. Until then, all the residents of California can do is wait patiently.