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California Politicians Stall on Internet Poker Issue

August 19, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — In California, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat from Sacramento, has said he needs more time to review the new plan to legalize online poker in that state, as advocated by Indian gambling tribes and lobbyists for card clubs (read about that story here).

With four weeks left in the current congressional session and a remaining budget crisis, this excuse seems to be somewhat valid. Still, since the proposal includes provisions that would give the state a cut of the online poker revenue (just how much hasn’t been specified), that budget crisis would seem to be a good incentive to give the proposal a look, and fast.

The proposal seeks to cut local tribes and card clubs, as well as the state itself, into the revenue enjoyed by what The Sacramento Bee is calling “the lucrative Internet poker boom that largely has been run by offshore operators.”

"I think it is a legitimate idea for consideration," the newspaper quoted Steinberg as saying. "I only have one question when I hear a proposal like that: how much money for the state General Fund? It's all I want to know. You know, is it two, three hundred million dollars? If it is, I'd consider it. But I think it's going to take more than four weeks to analyze that kind of proposal and the potential economic benefits."

For the full story, click here.