Online poker supporters - and especially those in the media - have a bad habit of hyping up every potential online poker or general iGaming bill that arises in the United States.

While the filing of new potential legislation is largely seen as a positive thing, the reality is that many states that do so don't have a realistic chance of passing those measures.

Below are five states that will examine and fail to pass iGaming legislation in 2017.


Illinois is an interesting state in that it could support a healthy iGaming market due to its population, but chances of the state regulating online poker are slim at this point.

The main reason is that the state has tried unsuccessfully to expand live gaming and lawmakers have outright said that iGaming will not be considered until this issue is resolved.

Another problem is that some think that the state is already at its saturation point for live gambling and further expansion is unnecessary. A live gambling expansion bill is in the works for 2017 but iGaming is not a part of it. Don't expect a bill here until the live gaming issue is resolved.


The Massachusetts Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports is currently compiling information on the best way to go about iGaming regulation. This report will not be ready until the end of July.

Don't expect any movement on a bill here until this report is complete. A realistic expectation for a bill is 2018.

Washington State

One of the few states in the U.S. to outlaw online gambling, Washington has been in the headlines lately due to legislative hearings on iPoker.

There's a small grassroots effort to regulate online poker and last year a bill was introduced to the legislature. It quickly died but some saw it as a good first step.

The movement to regulate iPoker has so little support that it is barely worth mentioning. Until we see some significant support in the state legislature for regulating the game, there's really no reason to talk about this state.


This is one state that has "submitted legislation" to make iPoker legal over the last few years but a bill has never emerged from committee.

While a bill has yet to be introduced, some think that gambling expansion in the southern part of the state and in Georgia may lead to a bill being revisited.

Frankly, the state is a bit too conservative and there's simply a lack of need for iGaming in the state at this point.


Michigan is trying to balance its state-run casino in Detroit with the Indian properties throughout the state.

Crafting a bill that will be suitable for both may prove difficult, much in the same way as California has had trouble getting an online poker bill passed over the last few years.

While iGaming passage is not impossible, the path seems a bit too arduous at this point. Right now tribes are not unified in regards to iGaming and this is going to be a major stumbling block.

We see Michigan as being anywhere from 2-4 years away from any meaningful legislation.