California IntraState Online Poker will have to Wait until 2012

Things seem to be looking bleaker and bleaker for online poker in the United States as Intrastate Online Poker was just rejected despite the fact that it had several supporters. The state seems to be all for legalizing and regulating online poker, but the lawmakers don’t want to rush into it. Since September 9 is the last day of the legislative year, there simply isn’t enough time to work out all the kinks.

Haste Makes Waste

2011 is a bad year for online poker indeed, but all is not lost. The bus for the regulation of online poker is still heading in the right direction, though it has gotten considerably slower. California Senate President, Darrell Steinberg addressed the stakeholders in a letter explaining his position in the matter. He said that he supports the idea of online gaming, but is aware that there are still some “significant, unresolved issues”. If the bill is passed before September 9, the last day of the legislative year, there’s sure to be some problems along the way. Furthermore, the state is aiming to strike a balance between “potential significant fiscal benefits to the state coffers, impacts on sovereign nations’ interests as well as the conceivable positive and negative affects gambling has on the [our] state.

The Issues

The letter also mentioned some of the issues that Darell Steinberg is concerned with, such as the matter of tribal exclusivity and the question of who gets to apply for a license and who doesn’t. Furthermore, not everyone’s united on the issue. There are two bills being passed, one backed by Rod Wright and the other by Senator Lou Correa. Wright’s bill would legalize all forms of online gambling, while Correa’s would allow only poker, which is accepted as a game of skill and not a game of luck by most people. There is also some opposition from players because of the fact that intrastate poker would severely limit the number of people they could play online poker with, which would definitely stunt the growth of the industry. Indeed, it looks like there’s still a long way to go before regulated online poker could be realized in the United States, but this is at least a step in the right direction, and that’s better than having no movement on the issue at all. Hopefully, lawmakers will be able to make the best decision for the players, a decision that would be fair to all parties involved, especially for the people.

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