California to Legalize Online Poker Soon

The US government passed a law prohibiting online gambling in the country a few years ago. However, it was only in the middle of 2011 that the legalization issue came to the forefront. This was when tree prominent poker rooms were shut down by the Department of Justice in April 2011 for carrying out illegal operations.

Now, it seems that California is about to pass a law that will make online poker legal within the state. California state authorities are expected to introduce a few bills for legalizing online poker and other forms of gambling, at the outset of 2012.

California Aims at Closing its Budget Gap

The efforts to legalize online gambling are being taken by the California state authorities in order to close a multi-million dollar budget gap. Due to the ongoing economic instability in the state, it had to close as many as 70 state parks. California has also increased the tuition fee of universities and colleges.

Two Online Gambling Bills to be Introduced in California

Currently the state is considering two bills for early 2012. The first bill is backed by the California Online Poker Association. Card clubs and Native American tribes are associated with the body. The bill that the California Online Poker Association is going to present, will focus solely on regulating internet poker. The second bill will be presented by Rod Wright, the State Senator of Democratic Los Angeles. This bill will focus on other forms of internet gambling as well, in addition to poker.

Department of Justice Silent on Whether California will be Allowed to Legalize Online Gambling

The US Department of Justice is still silent regarding whether or not online gambling will be allowed to be legalized in California. Darrell Steinberg, Senate President Pro Tem stated the approximate revenue (several millions of dollars) he expects to be generated in case the legalization of online gambling becomes a reality. He is quite confident that the federal government will allow internet gambling to be legalized in California, considering the tax deficit the sate is facing.

Steinberg wanted the bills to be introduced this year. However, it has been postponed till the beginning of 2012. Online poker legalization is likely to happen in California with Steinberg extending his support in favor of it.

According to Lou Correa, State Senator, if online poker is made legal in California, as many as 1300 jobs will be created. It has been estimated that revenue worth $1.4 million will be generated through poker in a decade.

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