Online poker players in the U.S. hoping that 2016 will be the year that a fourth state joins Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey in enacting Internet poker legislation had better temper their enthusiasm for now – at least with regard to New York and California.
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Reports from this year’s iGaming North America Conference reveal that New York State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow considers the passage of an online poker bill in his state to be a long shot in 2016. The current bill, S5302, sailed through the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering on a unanimous 9-0 vote back in February, but Pretlow remains bearish on its prospects.
Some of the reasons behind the Assemblyman’s negativity include how to please all the stakeholders involved, as well as the possibility that minors can perhaps get a hold of Daddy’s credit card and tap into poker sites. The former issue – satisfying all parties – remains a huge hindrance in California and will always be an obstacle in any state-by-state scheme – New York, California, or otherwise.
Pretlow is more optimistic regarding movement on DFS legislation this year than online poker. It would certainly seem more prudent to take care of two birds with one stone, but logic and the passage of bills often don’t go hand in hand.
Over in the Golden State, it appears that the allegations of insider trading leveled against Amaya CEO David Baazov have put a strain on ipoker regulation progress. A coalition of tribes fronted by Pechanga continue to push the “bad actor” issue, citing PokerStars‘ involvement in the U.S. online poker market post-UIGEA as reason to keep the gaming giant out.
Amaya’s purchase of PokerStars in 2014 and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement‘s stamp of approval on a conditional license to operate in the Garden State was thought to have removed much of the blemish on PokerStars’ name that remained from the previous regime. But that taint has now seemingly returned with the latest accusations over who may have been privy to inside information regarding Amaya.
The situation has prompted at least one of the tribes partnered with PokerStars in the state to voice their concerns, according to OnlinePokerReport. However, there is no word yet on a possible falling out among the parties in the PokerStars coalition that includes several tribes and a trio of California card clubs.
The insider trading charges – and keep in mind that at this point in time Baazov’s alleged illegal behavior is only an accusation – will likely cause an even greater divide over the bad actor issue. Only time will tell if that divide perhaps creates tension and reaches the stakeholders that are currently joined with PokerStars.