In 2013, we saw Nevada begin to offer online poker gaming with Delaware and New Jersey not far behind. 2014 was simply a year of reflection as individual states watched the three to see how well players as well as the industry would respond to online gaming. Now in 2015, we have seen a resurgence in individual states interested in online gaming or even land based gaming, with legislation being introduced in several states.
For about six years now, the state of California has tried to pass online poker measures to allow gaming to take place but has yet to do so. Just last week the state saw a historic event with the unanimous passing of Assemblyman Adam Gray’s AB 431. The measure is by no means going to allow online poker right this minute but with the vote by the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, the measure became the first to ever move through the committee.
The state must now move through even more hurdles as invested parties cannot seem to come to agreement on what should be allowed or not allowed. From race track involvement to bad actor clauses, the state seems too far in disagreement to see legislation passed this year, but you never know, it could happen.
Pennsylvania may prove to be the next state to actually legalize the option with several pieces of legislation having been proposed and poker proponents in positions of power. John Payne is the chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee who has created online poker legislation along with the co-chair Nick Kotik.
Hearings have already took place within the state, which resulted in a positive outlook on poker gaming, as well as partnerships having been formed between land based casinos and online gaming operators. The 888 Holdings group has partnered with Mount Airy Casino while the Parx Casino has partnered with the Game Account Network, all in anticipation of online poker gaming. Party poker also plans on working in the state and has announced a partnership with a yet to be named casino.
Online gaming may advance further in the US as the state of Iowa is considering online ticket sales for lottery gaming. The Iowa Lottery would like to see their gaming efforts expanded to include online sales and are currently studying other states who offer such options.
Even conservative Alabama is getting in on the action with legislation introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh for a state lottery and casino gaming to be added to the race tracks. The efforts in Alabama may be a long shot but at least someone is trying to bring in gaming options for residents.
Overall, there is movement in the online and land based gaming industries of the United States. With the year almost half over, significant progress has been made so it will be interesting to see what happens by the year’s end.
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