Impressive Revenue Estimates for Online Poker in California

Impressive Revenue Estimates for Online Poker in CaliforniaCalifornia lawmakers have been looking at Internet poker legislation for several years and approval has remained elusive.

Several reports have emerged in recent months in which industry experts have offered opinions that 2014 may be the year that [geolink href=””]Online Poker in California[/geolink] joins the three states that have enacted forms of online poker and gambling regulation. Those predictions may be premature considering that the cardrooms, horsemen and Indian tribes that make up the state’s gaming interests have not been able to reach a consensus.

However, a recent study done by Academicon and PokerScout indicates that if legislation does happen to gain approval, online poker revenue figures could be quite impressive. Academicon is a consulting firm specializing in law and economics, while PokerScout is an independent website that tracks online poker player traffic.

The joint research found that revenue in the ballpark of about $260 million would be seen in the first year of Internet poker legalization. Toward the end of 10 years, that revenue projection jumps to more than $379 million. The tribes, cardrooms and horse racing executives would apparently be well-served by making a concerted effort to find a workable solution.

The revenue projections are based upon statistics gathered prior to Black Friday in 2009 and 2010. California online poker players were logging onto unregulated poker sites based overseas at the time. Should the Golden State commence to legislate online poker, it is conceivable that more citizens would be willing to play online at poker sites that afford greater consumer protection and security due to regulation.

The proposals bandied about by California lawmakers in recent years favor only online poker and typically exclude Internet casino games. The attitude of the state’s tribal concerns is that online casino gaming would cause revenue at land-based gaming establishments to dwindle.

While that attitude restricts possible legislation to poker-only, state officials are said to have a similar restrictive attitude toward partnering with other states. California is apparently not interested in interstate compact agreements that would increase liquidity. Such an intrastate scheme is not good news for New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and any other states that enact legislation in the future.

However, California is large enough to go it alone and seemingly intends to do so. Of course, that is contingent upon first being able to pass legislation. All the revenue projections and estimates sound wonderful. But if the state’s gaming concerns cannot agree on a solution satisfactory to all involved, those revenue numbers will remain only a possibility of what could have been.

Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett