An Unchanged Year For Online Poker Legislation


Dec 2015

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Poker legislation building

During the entire year of 2015, the big powers, legislators and poker giants, could not come to an agreement about regulation and legalization regarding the card game being played on the internet. It was pretty uneventful, without much change happening towards a decision, but that is not particularly a bad thing. There was plenty of progress done in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, and the hopes at the start of the year was for it to expand into California and Pennsylvania.

Thanks to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), along with enormous steps forward in lawmaker education, it seems that we could be getting a lot closer to an open and regulated market for players. There was a huge difference between the March hearing in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations and the December hearing was huge, as issues that were driven by fear and concerns about unregulated online gaming was all but squashed.

This is mostly thanks to the PPA, the Poker Players Alliance, and other gaming industry lobbyists educating not only the public, but the lawmakers as well. There were some good and some bad aspects that happened throughout the year, but ultimately didn’t affect any decision in a negative manner.


  • Sheldon Adelson trying to undo all of the good done so far, but being unable to do so is also good news.
  • California was unable to do anything positive, and dropped the ball concerning state legislation.


  • Created a stronger faction between gaming giants like, San Manuel, Morongo, Amaya/PokerStars, Caesars, Hawaiian Gardens, and The Bicycle, as well as plenty of horse tracks led by Pechanga and Agua Caliente.
  • Even though California was unable to do anything, Pennsylvania did a great job advancing the cause. Rep. John Payne was able to get his bill passes through the House Gaming Oversight Committee in November, but sadly was unable to get it through the full House before they adjourned for the holidays.

All in all, it was an unchanging year for online poker, but what could happen in 2016 may be a lot more positive, as steps taken in 2015 will surely have an impact.