Online Poker In California USA Put to a Vote

Published Tuesday, June 01, 2010 -

The California legislature will vote to legalize online poker. After legislators began to realize how in debt the state of California is, they have decided to be a little creative and try to capture at least a portion of the money that's flowing offshore as gamblers continue to play poker.


According to Mike Godfrey of Tax the leader of the California Senate Committee on Gambling, Senator Rod Wright, has introduced an amended version of Senate Bill 1485, which would license California-based web gaming companies to operate online poker websites exclusively for the residents of California. The proposal would raise a minimum of 20% of revenue from these websites to help counter the state's huge budget deficit.

The new amended rules will also limit the number of online casinos in California. The bill has been given urgency status which means that should it be approved, the law goes into effect immediately where as a non-urgency label would have delayed implementation until January 1st of next year. If the proposal passes the critical vote in the legislature, the State Department of Justice will be able to grant three contracts, each with a five year life span. There is a possible glitch in the process as representatives from Tribal casinos and card rooms are expected to oppose the legislation.

Federal law in the USA allows individual states to authorize intrastate online gambling, but the raising of revenue becomes an issue because the authorization of new online poker websites may jeopardize income under existing tribal-state compacts and agreements which are expected to raise 365million USD in the budget year 2010-11. Current estimates suggest that Californians only spent an approximate 300million USD on poker websites in 2009. The state of affairs in California's financial picture is bleak with a looming deficit expected to reach 19.1 billion USD by next year at this time.

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