With the legal position of online poker in the US still uncertain, California lawmakers may be set to push for its legalisation in the State.
California is once again centre stage in the ongoing battle for the legal status of Internet poker to be nailed down. Several casinos are busily leveraging the state’s lawmakers for the legal right to run and operate online poker websites.
This is not a new idea in this particular State either. California’s lawmakers have been busy trying to figure out a way in which they can make gambling on poker via the Internet a legal practise there. What makes it such a compelling idea is that such a move would make the State the frontier pioneer of the online gambling industry. This would be hugely advantageous should the online poker side of the industry later be made legal at the federal level.
As federal law currently does not even address online poker, it’s believed by many people that there cannot be anything illegal in offering the service. However, even if this were true, the California based group of casinos want the legislators’ blessing before they decide to act and put into place any plans for expansion into that area.
As part of their argument in favour of this move, the casino group are pointing out that in the US there are many millions of people who play poker at Internet gambling sites based outside the US. The casinos are keen to bring that revenue back to the US and more particular, to California.
Patrick Dorinson, spokesman for the State’s Morongo Band of Mission Indians who are among the groups that are involved in the proposals, said that there are currently around a million Californians who play poker at offshore sites. They would very much like to see those same people playing at locally based and registered sites.
The group is also focusing on the aspect of ensuring that lawmakers protect poker players who use Internet sites. As it stands now, no regulations exist for protecting players against the many dangers that may exist when they play on international sites.
The Indian tribes would need to sign off to new gambling laws within the State. As it stands now, there are certain compacts put in place to protect tribes against any expansion, although they would probably be willing to look at reworking the compacts to have the chance of offering Internet poker to Californians.