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Poker News: June 27th, 2009

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HEADLINE: Intrastate Online Poker Expected in California

The organization leading the campaign to legalize intrastate online poker in California thinks the legislative battle may not be as difficult as first thought. Representatives from the Poker Voters of America told reporters that the California budget debacle is forcing lawmakers to accept any plan that might bring in revenue for the state, and the online poker bill certainly meets that qualification.

The plan to skirt the UIGEA and introduce online poker in California as an entirely instate affair began with ex-Assemblyman Lloyd Levine. Levine authored a bill last year seeking to locate both the Internet operator and the patron within California boundaries, thereby removing any question of the confusing gray areas of the problematic federal ban on online gambling.

Now, with a stunning $25 billion budget deficit looming over all state legislative business, the possibility of advancing Levine's concept and reaping the $250 million estimated the bill would generate in new income for the state has legislators eager to drop debates about gaming morality and put poker into play.

PVA president Jim Tabilio says lawmakers have told him that the bill will likely pass if it meets consumer protection requirements. They also want to be sure operations will be controlled by the tribal casinos and poker rooms already licensed in the state.

"The framework bill has a majority in support of the concept in both the Assembly and the Senate, and has a group of legislators including people in the leadership in both houses ready to take it forward," says Tabilio. "This means we're probably going to be able to get the bill through in mid-summer."

If California is successful in crafting a workable online poker bill that creates new revenue, gaming experts are predicting it won't be long before other states rush to join in, seeking funding for their own budgets.

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Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on June 27, 2009

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