Effort to Legalize Online Gambling Moves Forward in California

The push to legalize online gambling — in the form of online poker, online casino, etc. — is continuing in multiple states around the U.S.

The latest news is out of Southern California, where some tribes with large casinos are pushing for government legislation that would legalize online gambling.

To be fair, other tribes in California oppose the idea.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Banning and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians near San Bernardino are the leading members of a new group of tribes and card clubs called the California Online Poker Association.

They want to legalize online poker.  Could online slots be next? Blackjack?

The measure would put a “licensed entity” that already has a casino in charge of an “intrastate Internet website.”

In return, the entity would pay the state an unspecified share of the revenue.

Well, from the government perspective, it’s always been about money.

States can license their own legal games; none has done so.

In Congress, meanwhile, fast-evolving online gambling legislation championed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, could go to a vote before year’s end.

My take? Legalize it.

So I can play.

And states can take their share of revenues from the providers.

What the hell is wrong with that?

“In our opinion, internet gambling of some sort is coming. It’s a given,” said David Quintana, the political director of the California Tribal Business Alliance, which includes several large tribes with casinos.

State Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, leads the Senate committee with oversight of gambling issues. He plans to re-introduce a bill to legalize online gambling that stalled in committee in June.

I’ll keep you posted on what happens in California.

What happens there is likely to happen elsewhere, eventually.

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