April 28, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — After several months of vetting by the state's lawmakers, California, the most populous American state, is set to vote on a new bill that could legalize online poker playing within its borders. And that vote could come “within weeks,” according to Bluff Magazine.
The legislation — known formally as The California Online Poker Law Enforcement Compliance and Consumer Protection Act — is careful to clarify the fact that Internet poker would be legal only in the state of California. Therefore, it would steer clear of interfering with the federal ban on online gambling imposed (by the most part) by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006.
According to Bluff Magazine, the bill explicitly points out that intrastate gambling is not affected by the UIGEA. It also calls upon the U.S. Department of Justice’s Gambling Control Commission and Bureau of Gambling Control “to summarize intrastate regulations for California”.
California is facing a severe budget crisis, with the state’s government locked in an increasingly harsh battle over budget shortfalls and the record deficit the state currently faces. So, it’s reasonable to assume that the bill is an attempt to add badly needed revenue to the state’s coffers.
Another reason is to exert some level of control over the online gambling that still takes place within its borders, thereby providing some measure of consumer protection.