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California looking at legalised online poker

State Senator Roderick Wright is finalising proposed legislation that would, if passed, permit Californians to play poker over the Internet legally.

Thursday 27th May 2010

In America, a politician in California is drafting legislation that would license and regulate online poker in the state in order to collect a portion of the estimated four billion dollars its citizens wager every year over the Internet. Speaking at the Global iGaming Summit And Expo in Montreal earlier this month, California State Senator Roderick Wright announced that his proposed legislation was nearly complete and would be introduced soon. “We're playing with language right now,” said Wright. “In fact, I've gotten two e-mails on it this morning.” However, the State Senator for California’s 25th District revealed that it would take quite a long time for any of the proposed measures in his bill to be implemented even if the legislation was adopted. “It could take two to three years, frankly,” said the Democrat. “We could end up with a statute that ultimately ends up at the Supreme Court.” Wright stated that one of the biggest hurdles to his proposals becoming law involves whether allowing online poker violates compacts California has with Native American tribes over gambling in the state. “The first argument will be whether playing Internet poker violates the compacts of those tribes,” said Wright. “But there's not even unanimity within the tribes.” Leslie Lohse, Chairwoman for the California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA), stated that allowing online poker in the state would violate such compacts because these give tribes exclusivity on ‘gaming devices’. “It is a breach of the compacts California signed with the tribes to offer gaming devices when that electronic device allows a player to connect to a system and place a bet,” said Lohse. “That includes a computer. “Before the United States rushes into legalising online poker, it has to be asked will it help or hurt tribal economic development? Is the legislation in sync with Federal policy in promoting tribal economic development? “You will not get legalisation in the United States by end-running the tribes. We will not forget the treaties and understanding our ancestors preserved for us.”

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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