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California Re-Buys Into Online Poker With New Gambling Bill

Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have passed online gambling packages making it legal for United States companies to operate internet gambling portals. You must be located inside those states’ boundaries as a resident or traveler to play, and those three states have positioned themselves as leaders in a multi-billion dollar online gambling business in the United States which is in its infancy. Obviously, states with larger populations stand a better chance to profit financially, and that’s what makes the recent Internet gambling bill introduced in California so important.

The Golden State has a population of almost 40 million. The three states mentioned above which have already passed online gambling total just 13 million residents between them. With three times as many possible online gamblers as those states combined, California would instantly surge to the head of the US gambling community if the currently offered legislation is accepted. Making California’s huge potential pool of players very attractive to Nevada is that state’s recent title as the first US state in history to pass interstate poker laws allowing The Silver State and Governor Sandoval to form virtual gambling pacts with other states.

With a population of roughly 3 million, Nevada would drastically benefit from an interstate poker deal with next-door neighbor California. Even though many attempts at legalizing online poker in California have failed, the bill introduced last Friday by State Senator Lou Correa has at its base a statewide support of physical brick-and-mortar poker rooms. Correa has long been a proponent of online poker as a revenue source for the ailing California economy, but similar legislation was knocked down only a few months ago.

In December, California State Senator Roderick Wright made his second attempt at bringing online poker to the virtual world in California, but he did so without any sponsors. He wisely restricted the Internet gambling bill be proposed to poker only, banking on the rich history of poker in the state. That particular bill is expected to reach legislators in March, and still has a chance for passage. With Correa’s proposal, there are currently two online poker packages up for review in California, giving that state’s online poker players twice the amount of hope.

The new bill asks that the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) go about establishing the regulatory framework for virtual poker licenses and site operation. It also asks that any company offering online poker in California be located within its physical boundaries, obviously so the state can benefit financially from taxing, licensing and regulation. His research shows that online poker could bring as many as 1,300 jobs to the state, and as much is $1.4 billion in annual revenue. California lawmakers have been striving for online poker since 2008, but existing brick-and-mortar poker properties and Indian gaming tribes have often times stood in the way of online poker passage. Figuring out a way to include those existing physical poker rooms in the dispersal of revenue generated by online poker portals is paramount, and when that equation is solved, the populous state of California will be just a Governor’s signature away from joining Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey at the virtual tables.