California to Hold Online Gambling Hearings in February
A California state senator says his committee will hold hearings in February to consider intrastate online poker. Roderick Wright, the chairman of the Governmental Organization Committee, which handles gambling legislation, said the revived subject of Internet gaming will be discussed after the new year.
Wright said any new bill seeking to regulate intrastate online gambling would have to ensure no expansion of electronic gaming that would endanger tribal casino compacts would occur. Wright also said any poker bill would have to meet the approval of gaming tribes.
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians, one of the most powerful of the casino-operating tribes, has already endorsed the plan to operate online poker within state boundaries. The Morongos purchased $50,000 in television ads for Wright's re-election campaign last year.
"I think it (online poker) is workable and a potential source of new revenue," Senator Dean Florez, a member of the committee, told the Los Angeles Times. "How you structure it is the key."
Gaming experts say the state of California could create $250 million in annual revenue by licensing intrastate online poker.
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