May 6, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – More and more political forces in California seem to be supporting that state’s ongoing movement to legalize online casinos and Internet poker within its borders, according to recent reports.
One of the state’s largest political news sources, the Capitol Weekly, has gone on record supporting the idea of legalized, regulated, and taxed online poker.
“PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates two million Californians play Internet poker today,” Barry Fadem writes in the article. “Every one of them plays on a foreign website that is not regulated or monitored by U.S. law enforcement … Worse, neither the State of California nor legal land-based gaming operators in the State receive a penny from the multi-billion online poker industry that operates from foreign locations.”
It’s the old standby —money needs to be raised, and here’s a huge cash cow just sitting there, waiting to be taxed. “Under current conditions, Californians playing poker at offshore sites deprive cash-strapped California of potential revenue through the licensing and regulation of Internet poker portals,” Fadem writes.
“Internet gambling operates in the shadows and the companies and jobs are all overseas,” agrees Adam Probolsky in the OC Register in a bid to bring the online gambling industry to Southern California. “Irvine would, however, benefit from the legalization of Internet gaming. With our tech savvy workforce and data center capacity, Irvine is a likely candidate to play host to some of the biggest online gaming sites.”
The Capitol Weekly article also expressly points out the current federal online gambling laws in the U.S. — namely the UIGEA, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 —allows states to set their own laws when it comes to Internet gambling. This is an important facet to the UIGEA that doesn’t often get discussed, but that may play a large role when states like California start laying down their own iGaming laws in the months to come.