Online gambling could be legalized in California

A new bill in the state of California is all set to legalize internet gambling eliciting mixed reactions. The aim of the bill is to raise more money for the state of which both the betting industry and state leaders are vying to get a share. Both parties have cemented their shares by making alliances with casinos, websites and lawyers. The bill will allow casinos owners to hold a 10 year license to facilitate online poker as an initiative. Inspite of the possibility of high profit, the bill has brought about tension among traditional casino owners that such a move would take away customers from traditional playing methods. Others believe that bringing gambling to smart phones would increase participation. Randy Pellolio, co-owner of Pete's 881 Club, San Rafael believes that though some customers might be lost, online gambling would introduce poker to more people. Opponents of legalized gambling on the other hand fear that the bill could mean ruin to gambling addicts aided by the $9.2 billion budget deficit that the state faces.

Bill SB1463 when passed will mean that 10% of the gross revenue made by gambling centers will have to be paid to the state. The bill also hopes to regulate online poker that has been running unregulated offshore for years. Players will have to enter their Social Security number to prove that they are above 21 to gamble.

Efforts to legalize gambling in the state of California in the past have failed. The legislation was made possible only after the US Justice Department released that the federal law banning online gambling applied only to sports betting. The legislations was passed by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Sen. Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood (Los Angeles County).

It was reported that the State expected to gain $200 million in licensing fee alone and that the profits would be spent on education and public safety, areas that lost funding because of the budget deficit.

The troublesome part of the bill being passed is that the State has offered licenses to 150 gambling centers like card rooms, tribal casinos, horse tracks and houses that facilitate the making of bets on horse races. People are at odds on who should be given a license with traditional gambling house and card rooms trying to muscle out horse racing saying that it has no nothing to do with poker.

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