With the summer months approaching, some are wondering which state will be next to legalize iGaming or if there will be an industry at all thanks to RAWA. While none of us know what the future will hold, we have taken the liberty of coming up with a few predictions regarding iGaming legislation for the remainder of 2015.
California Will NOT Pass Online Poker in 2015
Does anyone really believe that California will pass online poker in 2015, or even 2016 for that matter?
The Pechanga have dug their heels in the sand and are refusing to budge on the issue of bad actors and race track participation.
Let’s say for sake of argument that AB 431 fails to contain a bad actor clause. The issue of race track participation remains.
This bill, or any bill, will not go through without the Governor’s support and he has already stated that a bill that doesn’t address the tracks will not be passed.
Will Pechanga back off their stance regarding the tracks? Not likely.
Will the tracks accept a revenue sharing program? They say no, but can they be persuaded otherwise? Maybe so, but that takes time.
The movement of AB 431 out of committee may have been “historic” but the bill will move no further, this year or next.
Pennsylvania Passes Online Poker – Late 2016 Launch
Pennsylvania has all the momentum right now to get an online poker bill passed this year. They have lawmakers eager, and in many cases willing, to deal on the matter and the state lacks the issues that have stumbled California.
Casinos are also beginning to line up their partners for an expected iGaming launch. The recent signing of bwin.party by Mount Airy leads us to believe that the casino industry in PA is expecting passage of a bill in the near future.
Even if a bill is passed this year, the real work of regulation has to begin. They won’t take as long as Nevada to launch a site but we do see them taking until mid to late 2016 to launch.
RAWA Falls Short of Congressional Vote
It may take until the end of the year for the final death knell to be called, but the odds are still behind RAWA failing to reach a congressional vote.
RAWA was able to move through a heavily biased congressional hearing but not without exposing some of the inherent flaws in the bill and the information used by anti-iGaming lobbyists.
Following that hearing, there has been next to no movement on the bill and state organizations continue to line up in opposition.
Congress knows that passing a bill such as this will result in a major fight over states rights and frankly, this issue is not big enough for them to fight over.
PokerStars Forces Caesars to Join Shared Network
The cries have been heard for over a year. “PokerStars is coming! PokerStars is coming!”
Until recently, we have mostly rolled our eyes. However, now that Amaya and Resorts are the ones making the statements, we now believe.
PokerStars is expected to launch in late 2015 and it shouldn’t take them long to become top dog in New Jersey.
The return of PokerStars to the United States may force Caesars and WSOP.com to finally join the shared online network with Nevada and Delaware.
With PokerStars certain to cut into iGaming profits for Caesars, this may be the way they remain competitive or increase liquidity until NJ residents get over the novelty of PokerStars.