As the economies of states across the U.S. spiral into deeper financial troubles, gambling has been an increasingly popular solution to increase tax revenues. Delaware has legalized sports betting, Barney Frank continues to push a bill to legalize online gambling at a federal level, and California may consider legalizing online poker.
It’s funny how it takes an economic crisis to bring people back to sanity.
Of course I am biased because I think gambling is fun, I write for an online casino games blog, and I believe the government should have no say in whether or not I choose to but a quarter in an online slot machine. But on to the story…
Local Indian tribes and card clubs in California are now organizing a joint effort to legalize online poker in the state. Not only would this allow the newly formed poker consortium to capitalize on the estimated $4 billion US online gambling market, it would allow the state to collect desperately needed tax revenues.
“You’ve got a huge amount of gambling going on on the Internet right now that is a large measure unregulated,” George Forman, an attorney for the Morongo tribe, said in an interview. “Huge amounts of money are being wagered. The state is not getting any of that. Money is going offshore.
“I think it is fair to say there is an interest on some people’s part that this activity can and should be regulated to protect consumers and produce a revenue source for the states,” Forman added.
Both Indian Tribes and card rooms currently operate legally according to California state law, but online gambling remains off limits. Due to the active federal ban on online gambling and the past political climate, legal online poker has been thought of as a pipe dream to its supporters.
However, the economic downturn may be the missing catalyst to make legal online poker a reality in California.
“Any time Internet gambling would get through the Legislature is right now because the state is desperate for money,” said I. Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School.
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Should online gambling finally be legalized? Should other forms of online gambling be treated any differently than online poker? Let your voice be heard in the comment section below!