A majority of California voters – especially those under age 40 – would like to see the state tax Internet poker and make the game legal, according to a Field Poll released today.
Among all age groups, 53 percent of voters support the idea, the poll says, while 41 percent oppose it. Among voters under age 40, however, support grows to 73 percent.
The Legislature has been discussing proposals to make online gambling legal in California for the past two years. The bills stalled as various gambling interests fought over who would be able to profit from the endeavor.
Parties involved in the debate – owners of Indian casinos, card rooms and race tracks – are supposed to meet this fall to hash out a compromise proposal for the Legislature to consider next year. Lawmakers who support Internet gambling have said it could bring hundreds of millions to state coffers.
The problem with internet poker is federal law, the UIGEA which was passed in 2006. I don’t see how California will be able to get around the federal prohibitions involving the banking system.
And, with a small California based market, the online poker sites would not have the poker player traffic like Poker Stars. In many ways, it is still more practical to go to your local card room like Commerce or The Bike.
The best solution is a change in the federal law to allow the big gaming companies like Caesar’s and MGM to operate world-wide sites open to all players in the United States (unless a state specifically prohibits play).
I do not foresee this coming anytime soon with the apparent default of Full Tilt Poker and players losing $millions.