California Racing To Legalize Internet Poker Ahead Of Federal Legislation

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
California Internet Poker

California wants to be the first to legalize Internet poker and now comes word that their primary opposition, the Indian tribes, may be prepared to embrace the plan.

Senator Louis Correa (D-Santa Ana) has introduced Senate Bill 40 this week, which would allow select tribes and other entities to run state-sanctioned online poker rooms.

"People play offshore now. All of that money goes offshore," Correa said. "What we’re trying to do is take a whole exploding industry that is illegal (in California) and make it legal and tax it to fund state services."

Efforts to legalize Internet poker in California hit a road block back in September after the chief sponsor of a previous measure, State Senator Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood), found himself indicted.  Wright was charged with 8 felonies including fraud and perjury.

Correa’s legislation is backed by the powerful San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.  Some other state tribes have voiced concern over the measure, however.

Correa is racing to get legislation passed ahead of federal efforts to legalize Internet poker widely reported on by in recent days. 

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher