California Online Poker Guide

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California online poker has hit many hurdles in recent years. So, what’s the hold-up?

We’re going to analyze the problems faced by those looking to legalize CA online poker here. Is online poker legal in California? Let’s start by taking a look at the latest updates.

California Online Poker

California Online Poker: Latest News

There have been plans to introduce legal CA online poker for a number of years. In a state that is home to thousands of poker players, regulations for online poker seemed the natural next step. For many reasons, these plans have failed to materialize.

One reason is the sheer number of land-based casinos that would have to all agree on how to move forward. A problem with legalizing all forms of online gambling across the US is the potential effect it would have on existing retail operators. The same appears to be the case in the Golden State.

Another reason appears to be with the operator PokerStars. PokerStars California looked like it would become a legal option for residents in the State. However, the operator has been blamed for the failure to pass any legislation, with problems arising in 2016.

An agreement couldn’t be made between the many tribal casinos, PokerStars California and legislators. In fact, it seems that PokerStars wanted legislation to be passed on their terms, an issue that caused a huge amount of controversy.

For now, there doesn’t appear to be any progress in regulating online poker. It is, though, an issue that’s likely to be revisited in the coming months.

The answer to this question is a simple no. A lot of work will have to be done to convince tribal and other land-based casinos that online poker will be profitable, and wouldn’t affect their revenues.

The most likely way online poker could be regulated is if it is combined with other forms of online gambling, online sports betting in particular.

July 2019 saw a sports betting bill presented by Adam Gray. It appears unlikely that a decision will be made until well into next year. Even so, online poker is not mentioned in this latest bill, which means California residents could be waiting a long time before California online poker sees the light of day.

An agreement between the State’s gaming stakeholders would have to be made. This, though, seems a long way off.

So, for now, online poker is still prohibited in the State. Of course, it’s possible that the issue will be discussed once more, particularly due to the success legalizing online play has enjoyed in other States. There is an online petition that you can sign to encourage Congress to support online poker legislation.

We’ll update you with the latest California online poker news.

Where can I play online poker in California?

Now, you may come across online poker sites that accept California residents. We do not recommend that you sign up to any of these. As frustrating as it may be that no California online poker laws have been passed yet, don’t sign up to any offshore sites.

So, is there anywhere in the Golden State you can legally play poker? Card rooms are legal, so long as they operate non-banked card games. The Gambling Control Act oversees card room play, with the Bureau of Gaming Control responsible for the rules of any game allowed.

California Online Poker: Conclusion

Disappointing for those of you hoping for California online poker to become a legal possibility. Regulations, it appears, are extremely unlikely to be discussed in the near future. For now, US poker players can enjoy online poker in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Nevada.

Things can change quickly, though. Maybe 2021 will bring better news for California online poker.

California Online Poker FAQ

Is Online Poker legal in California?

You can play sweepstakes poker, but online poker for real-money is currently unavailable in California.

Can you play land-based poker legally in California?

Yes, there are several tribal casinos and commercial casinos that offer poker rooms to adults over 21.

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