California Poker Here We Come
California could offer real-money online poker by the end of August while PokerStars will start offering casino games by the end of 2014.
California Real-Money Online Poker to Launch by Month's End
Last month the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel Indians launched PrivateTable.com with the intentions to become the first site in California to offer real-money online poker. The site started with play-money games but according to CardPlayer.com the site could flip the switch to real money later this month.
The article quoted Dave Vialpando, the chairman of the Santa Ysabel Gambling Commission, and he stated that real-money gaming would commence "between the 26th and the 28th."
Santa Ysabel is moving forward with real-money gaming even after both online poker bills have been shelved in 2014. According to Vialpando he believes that the tribe can offer class II gambling from its reservation under IGRA and its ability to offer those games are not prohibited by any other statute.
Class II games under IGRA cover bingo style games and "non-banked card games" including online poker.
Santa Ysabel is currently planning a slow rollout and will not offer anything but online poker. Vialpando also claims that other tribes have been in contact about following in its footsteps and it is more than willing to help any tribe wishing to enter the online poker marketplace.
PokerStars to Roll Out Casino Games in Italy and Spain Later This Year
Amaya, Inc had its earnings call for Q2 of 2014 on Monday and revealed several key tidbits of information.
First, PokerStars will launch casino games on PokerStars Italy and PokerStars Spain by the end of the year. Also, the company is developing an in-house sportsbook that is expected to launch sometime in 2015.
The company also revealed that based on recent comments from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement it is very excited for opportunities in the U.S. What this likely means is that a licensing of PokerStars in eminent. Many expect the site to be licensed and online by Fall.
Other information released during the call was that Full Tilt Casino results have been "encouraging" despite only releasing the games to a small number of total users. The company will also begin a major push of its casino products during Q4 of 2014.
The expansion into the casino market is not surprising and could prove to be very advantageous to the company. According to Amaya as many as half the users on PokerStars bet on sports or play casino games on other sites.
Transitioning a sizable number of these players to PokerStars Casino should prove a significant boost in company profit in the coming years.