California Crazy For and Against Internet Poker

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
California Internet Poker

We at have often said that the Poker Players Alliance should have spent less time debating over poker as a game of skill verses chance and more time taking to the airwaves and media publications with messages pertaining to how the industry could help add jobs and boost local economies.  The skill vs. chance position could easily have been implemented into such an advertising campaign. 

This week, the California Online Poker Association launched an aggressive ad blitz with the help of state casinos supporting legalized Internet poker.  The result has been fast and furious debating on both sides of the issue.  The ads, make no mistake about it, have been extremely effective.

Commentator Stuart Leavenworth of Capital Public Radio claims California is making a very big mistake should they allow such a bill to pass.

Leavenworth writes

Yes, I can understand the attraction. California's budget is in trouble, and supporters say Internet poker could bring in up to $250 million in new revenue for the state. Perhaps it will, but the cost, in gambling addiction and lost productivity, is just far too high.

But unless you know someone who is a gambling addict or are one yourself, Californians who are inclined to follow Mr. Leavenworth are more apt to hone in on his initial statement, that Internet poker could bring in up to $250 million in new revenue for the state. 

That’s the common theme that will be mentioned as part of any on-air/in-print experts discussing the matter, whether for or against.  The revenue discussion will resonate with state citizens. 

Leavenworth’s concerns are justified and the industry will need to come up with ways to address potential gambling addition.  Within a regulated environment this becomes much easier.  Currently, the industry is not regulated and addiction has the opportunity to flourish more so.

- Chris Costigan, Publisher