A short time ago, online poker regulation was introduced in Washington State and those in the industry were surprised to see a bill actually on the table for the activity. Washington State was nowhere on the radar when it came to online poker regulation, but ended up being one of the first states this year to introduce a bill for legislation. HB 1114 was introduced and would have allowed online poker gaming but the bill has since stalled.
The bill will not get a hearing this year and according to Representative Appleton the bill did not have the support that he originally hoped for and the bill not be moving forward this legislative session. Appleton continued to state that the bill being introduced and starting the conversation will be of help even though the bill did not move forward.
When the legislation was introduced, much work was put behind the bill. While the creators of the bill did their homework, the interest was just not there. Lobbying efforts need to be extended to try and push the bill into the forefront to gain the attention it needs to become a reality.
Every aspect of poker gaming was covered in the bill with financial information projected if the bill was passed. The amount in fees to be paid by operators was not yet announced but a report has estimated that it would take around 18 to 24 months for the gaming option to go live once implemented. In the long time frame, the area would be able to adopt rules, test equipment and give operators the time to prepare for launch.
Estimates reveal that annual revenues from online poker would be at around $15 million and is considered a conservative estimate. For now though, the online poker gaming bill will not move forward and Washington State will not be the next state in the US to offer online poker gaming.