Legislation for online poker is having mixed results in US state legislatures
The continuing push for online poker legislation faced mixed results in the past week in state legislatures. Despite Sen. Lesniak’s earlier promise, the New Jersey state legislature failed to advance the online gambling bill, S1565. The online gambling bill in Iowa also faced a similar fate as the House decided not to take upon the bill after it passed in the State Senate on a 29-20 vote. Furthermore, online poker legislation efforts have been shut down in Mississippi and Hawaii state legislatures.
Despite the continuing struggle within state legislatures, Nevada continues to lead the way as the model for structuring iGaming in the United States. Gaming giant, Playtech, announced that preparations for a licensing application has been started and partnership with a B&M casino may arise as early as next quarter. This news comes after several European gaming giants have announced plans for partnerships and licensing applications. Poker advocates hope that this movement by gaming operators is signaling the start of online poker in the US.
In addition to developments in Nevada, the bills in New Jersey and California still maintain a chance of passing in the near future. In New Jersey, Senator Lesniak cited a small technical issue regarding licensing procedure that held up the bill and stated that he and his co-sponsors plan to push a revised bill in the near future. The state senator felt optimistic about his earlier promises in an interview with PokerNews.
He stated, “We’re going to have to work harder and faster to get regulations and licenses issued, that’s all. We’ll still have it done by September.
Furthermore, Seton Hall Professor John B. Wefing testified before the New Jersey Wagering and Tourism committee about how internet gambling would fit into the bylaws of the state constitution. In California, online poker legislation efforts have been slow and have yet to reach a vote in the state legislature. According to its website, the State Legislature plans to take action on or after March 26, 2012.
Overall, online poker legislation in the US continues to struggle at the state and federal level. Although the Department of Justice statement on the Wire Act and the regulation in Nevada provided a spark of optimism, recent mixed results have shown that legislation will be a long uphill battle at all levels. With Federal Legislation losing steam, online poker advocates hope that states will pass legislation and form compacts in order to provide a primitive version of interstate poker.