A proposal to legalize online poker in the US state of California may be put forward to that state’s Congress in the near future. It comes after a meeting of representatives of some of California’s most influential tribes to create a universally accepted proposal on the issue.
Such a proposal has not been agreed to previously, largely due to the opposition of some casino-owning tribes throughout the state. Those figures have opposed the state legalisation of online poker due to their belief that business at their live casinos may come under threat from online gaming if such legislation was passed.
Recently, however, members of some of the anti-legislation tribes have changed their opinions, largely due to the legislative changes in online poker that have occurred in other American states. Governments in the states of New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have all recently passed legislation officially legalising online gaming, which includes poker.
A bill to legalise and regulate online poker in Pennsylvania – which borders both Delaware and New Jersey – was put forward in that state’s Congress late last month and is set to be viewed by a Government committee in the future. Back in Nevada, Ultimate Poker made headlines just last week for being the first online poker service to legally operate in the United States.
The increasing openness to online gaming in the US, along with the ongoing proof that live casinos can co-exist with – and even compliment – online gaming mediums, has led to more tribes viewing online poker as an alluring business venture. The fact that the number of Californians playing poker through unregulated online services is estimated to be in the millions has also helped boost its appeal.
Regulation of online poker in California may also help boost the recovering economy of the Golden State, which has experienced recent growth after an economic slump which lasted five years. While unemployment has dropped to under ten per cent after a high of over 12 per cent in 2010, the rate is still among the highest in the US.
While there are hopes of a proposal being put forward, there already is a bill in the Californian Congress to legalise and regulate online poker. That bill, put forward by State Senator Rod Wright, would allow businesses to apply for five-year long licences to operate online poker services in the state.
The bill has encountered some opposition from some of the tribes, however, and that opposition was said to have been relayed to the State Senator at Tuesday meeting, at which he was also present.