A Congressional hearing on the Restoration of America’s Wire Act has been rescheduled for later this month. Meanwhile, the Pechanga coalition looks to once again block any legislation in California that does not meet their standards. Finally, iGaming revenues in New Jersey dropped in February but still show healthy gains year-over-year.
RAWA Hearing Rescheduled for March 26
The Congressional hearing to discuss HR707, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, has been rescheduled for March 26. The hearing was originally scheduled for March 6 but was delayed due to weather.
The Poker Player’s Alliance broke the news on Thursday via Twitter:
BREAKING: Information from multiple Capitol Hill sources suggest RAWA hearing will be rescheduled for 3/26. Stay tuned for more. – jp
— PokerPlayersAlliance (@ppapoker) March 12, 2015
The hearing is expected to be predominantly anti-iGaming with most speaking against the matter. At present, it is unknown whether this hearing is merely a move to appease Sheldon Adelson for his generous funding of many key politicians or a serious push to try to bring the bill to a vote.
Should RAWA pass, all online gambling in the United States would become illegal, even in states that have already passed iGaming legislation.
Pechanga Dig In Heels to Block AB 167
The Pechanga coalition has made their feelings known about AB 167 and it appears that compromise is not in their vocabulary. On Wednesday, the coalition sent a letter to Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer that voiced their displeasure on the bill and called it “fatally flawed.”
The main issues discussed were the ones the coalition has fought against for years. They start by discussing horseracing facilities and how allowing them to hold an iPoker license is an expansion of gambling. They state that citizens have already voted against expanding gambling at horse racetracks by an 84% – 16% vote.
Next, they spoke against both bad actors and tainted assets. They explained how they feel that California citizens need to be protected from companies that violated the UIGEA and from companies that use assets acquired from those companies. This is obviously all pointed against Amaya and specifically PokerStars.
Ultimately, the tribes urge Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer to abandon the pursuit of AB 167 or any similar measure as they view the law as fatally flawed. A similar measure meaning any law that doesn’t include a bad actor clause and allows horse racetracks to participate.
The Pechanga coalition continues to be the primary obstacle in California online poker legislation due to their rigid stance on both matters. Sadly, it is agreed by many that iPoker legislation will not be able to move forward without the Pechanga because of their political clout.
New Jersey Revenues Dip in February – Up 11.1% for Year
February iGaming revenues were released on Tuesday by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). Revenues dropped to $10.4 million thanks to a $1.5 million jackpot hit by Betfair Casino. Even with the jackpot hit, iGaming revenues were up just under 1% when compared to February 2014.
Online poker continues to struggle in New Jersey, down 34.2 percent compared to February 2014 and down 33.7% overall on the year. In fact, if not for the jackpot hit, Caesars would have dropped all the way to fourth place this month behind both Tropicana and Golden Nugget. Neither Golden Nugget nor Tropicana offer online poker.
The good news is overall iGaming revenues are performing strong in 2015. Through February, iGaming revenues are up 11.1%. New Jersey has pulled in $21.97 million in revenues so far compared to $19.76 million last year. Online poker only accounts for $4.34 million of the total win in 2015.