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California to consider bill legalizing online poker

May 31, 2010 - by admin
Cali Poker

An idea first proposed last year in California will take the next step toward realization on Tuesday, when State Senator Rod Wright issues his bill proposing the creation of an intranet poker network. Naturally this proposal has provoked much discussion in local media. The proposal seeks to limit the number of online casinos offering legal gambling in California and to collect a minimum of 20% of revenue from these websites to fill the state budget deficit. Some estimates say that Californians spent $300 million on poker websites alone in 2009.

The (Sacramento) Press-Enterprise: Online poker bill to emerge

A bill from state senator Rod Wright is expected within a few days that would provide players in California the opportunity to legally choose between multiple online poker websites, in hopes of generating billions of dollars in tax revenue for the treasury.

Competing with Wright’s proposal is a plan put forth by the Morongo Ban of Mission Indians, a group that would create a “tribal intrastate Internet poker consortium” to act as a monopoly over a California-wide poker network, but Wright seeks to introduce a system of natural competition with his bill.

Expected to be put out on Tuesday, Wright’s bill seems to be based on the standard European model. Wright proposes that the California Department of Justice award five-year contracts to between one and three online poker websites based within the state. A minimum of 20% of revenue generated would be paid to the state in taxes.

Wright estimates that after passage of the bill, it might take another three years to have such an online poker system running. Californians spent an estimated $300 million on Internet poker last year. The state of California will have a $19.1 billion deficit as of June 2011.

NBC Bay Area: Can Online Gambling Save California?

The taxation of online gambling may be a way to solve part of the state’s budget problems – even more so than marijuana legalization. Supporters of decriminalisation of Internet gambling have claimed that regulating and taxing Internet gaming could earn up to $42 billion in federal taxes.

In California, some politicians who are pro-online gambling push such taxation as potentially bringing money and jobs to the state. This includes firms in Silicon Valley such as CyberArts, which produces Internet casino architectural software known as Foundation.

Though online gambling remains controversial even in California, the time to make it legal may have come. One consult was quoted as saying “it’s generally easier to pass something like (online gambling regulations) in a recession.”

Tech Jackal: California close to being the first state to legalize online poker

California may be on the way to becoming the first U.S. state to legalize online poker, because of state senator Rod Wright’s proposed new bill. Wright heads up the California Senate committee which overseeing gambling among other areas.

The addition of further taxes and revenues created from state-based gambling websites would go to directly addressing the state budget deficit, though Wright emphasized he sought to avoid a single-company monopoly.

Wright said that online gambling taxation “is an asset that is underperforming and it belongs to the state. It should be nondiscriminatory in terms of the people who participate. It’ll go to the people who want it and show up and bid.”

In order to take advantage of any opportunity to establish online poker or casino gaming for California citizens, website operators will have to meet certain specified legal, technical and financial conditions.

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