Online poker returns to the Mountain State. It's only a matter of time before West Virginia residents can play legalized online poker within its mountainous borders. West Virginia became the fifth state in America to legalize online poker since Black Friday 2011. It has been a slow process brining online poker back to American poker players, but West Virginia took a bold step forward with the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act.
Republican governor Rick Snyder decided to veto a bill that would have allowed Michigan gamblers to gamble online and play online poker. Michigan missed a chance to become the fifth state in America to legalize online poker joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Snyder cited that Michigan needed to study the data more before making a decision to authorize online gambling.
Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, worked out a shared player pool agreement with Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Governor John Carney of Delaware. The three states will share the same player pool for online poker and online slots progressive jackpots. This new compact should boost revenue and encourage more online players to join the mix. For many Americans frustrated with local legislative igaming legalization efforts, this news out of New Jersey is a step in the right direction.
The state of Pennsylvania, the sixth most populated state in America, missed the deadline to set a budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which in turn has created a short-term cash flow fiasco and ugly political feud between the governor and state legislators. Without a budget in place, an integral piece of gaming reform legislation is currently in limbo. The new gaming reform would legalize online casino, online poker, and daily fantasy sports. However, that was on contingent on the budget passing. Will Governor Tom Wolf and opposing state legislators figure out a solution to balance the budget and plug a $2.2 billion gap before Pennsylvania sinks deeper into debt? As of now, the future of online poker in Pennsylvania is a big fat question mark, with more pressing matters garnering the attention of politicos.
The city of Portland is battling with the state of Oregon over the legality of its poker rooms. The city allowed “cover charges” for poker rooms who skirted around the no-rake laws. The Oregon Lottery, which handles all gaming in the state of Oregon, stated that the largest room in Portland, the Portland Meadows, has until end of October to cease operations, or figure out a legal alternative. Otherwise, poker rooms in Portland are only a month away from closing its doors.
Talk about the Grinch who stole Christmas! Beth Johnson from The Hill recently reported that Congress might backdoor legislation that would outlaw online gambling. There's one scary rumor in Washington, D.C. that a Lame Duck Congress will do the unthinkable and pass RAWA. Will Republican Leadership do one last favor for their sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson, who is not shy about his positions on anti-online gambling, specifically online poker?
Online poker in California took a much-needed step forward when Adam Grey's AB 2863 online poker bill passed a vote 14-1 on the California Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill now heads to the Assembly floor for a vote (where it needs 2/3 to pass). However, last year's online poker bill also cleared the Appropriations Committee only to die on the shelf because the bill was never voted upon in Assembly. Will the Assembly vote on it this year? And if they do, will the vote pass? The future of online poker in California is still up in the air.
Online poker in California a pipe dream? Just when it seemed like attempts to legalize online poker would roll over and die for the 2016 legislative session, at the last second Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced AB 2863, which featured a guaranteed subsidy of $60 million to the cantankerous horse racing industry opposition. AB 2863 definitely marks a step in the right direction, but it's still a long road ahead if Californians want to play on legal, state-approved online poker rooms.
Quebec, the feisty French-speaking province who is always threatening to secede from Canada, is attempting to create their own state-run online gambling monopoly by outlawing online gambling operators. Is their blacklist a legit legislative ploy? Or will Canadian federal telecommunications laws take precedent?