California and New Jersey Have Made the First Moves
In an attempt to pre-empt Federal measures that would legalize online casino gambling, lawmakers in California are trying to introduce their own state legislation. This legislation would permit online gaming owners to run state-sponsored online gambling sites. The move was initiated by Senator Louis Correa. If passed, it would allow Native American groups and authorized poker game owners to operate their online sites from the state with the firm backing of the government. A percentage of the profits would obviously go to the government coffers.
The move is an attempt to capitalize on an exploding source of revenue which is still illegal in California as it is in many other states in America. By legalizing online gambling and poker sites, the state hopes to gain enough revenues to fund state services. The gambling community of California is in no way deterred by the absence of legalized source and satisfies their craving for online poker entertainment by playing overseas. By legalizing online poker, the state hopes to provide a comfortable and hassle-free setting for the gamblers and gaming enthusiasts while attempting to bring in all the money that goes offshore back to the state.
The proposed legislation has already been hailed by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. They have lent their considerable influence to the proposal.
It is reliably learnt that gaming websites based outside the United States presently attract around two million Californian poker players annually. The total annual wager figures are estimated to be close to $300 million. The state lawmakers feel that these figures cannot be ignored and can be used effectively to bolster the state treasury. Senator Louis Correa’s bill does not project estimated earnings from legalizing online poker, but it is not very difficult to make a safe estimate.
A failed legislation attempt presented in California earlier this year does mention some facts about the possible revenue earnings. It projects estimated revenue earnings of $520 million during the first year and a hugely impressive six billion over the next nine years.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Assembly approved an iGaming legislation that could help it become the first state to offer legal online gaming to its residents. The bill sailed through the Assembly, and more emphatically through the Senate. The legislation must now be signed by the Governor Chris Christie whose take on the bill has not been revealed as yet. The bill could still become law if the Governor takes no action for another 45 days.
New Jersey residents will now be able to wager online through portals hosted on servers based in Atlantic City. Outsiders who attempt to log on to these servers will be blocked. The operators are required to pay $200,000 for an initial one-year renewable license. The domains in all likelihood are likely to be operated by owners of land-based casinos running in New Jersey.
If the bill does become law, as industry experts expect it to be, New Jersey can expect itself to be the center of the US iGaming industry. All eyes now are on Governor Chris Christie, who, many believe, is going to be the Republican nominee to run for the 2012 Presidential or Vice-Presidential election.