California Moves Towards the Legalization of Online Gaming
The legalization and regulation of online gaming is something that has been slowly moving forward in California for the last several years. However, recent developments show that momentum has been gaining speed. Recently, the Commissioner of California’s Gambling Control Commission has expressed his optimism at online poker eventually being regulated in the state.
Richard Schuetz, head of the Commission since 2011, has said that an online poker market in California could be successful in its own right. “We have 38 million people,” he said. “We’re the eighth largest economy in the world. We’re bigger than Canada, so it’s not a case like Nevada that has 2.7 million people. We have more poker tables in the state of California than every other state in the nation.” Mr Schuetz also said that it may be more difficult to regulate other forms of online gaming due to its potential effects on some of the tribal owned casinos in California.
The belief that a California online poker market could be successful without interstate compacts, should a state market eventually be established and regulated, certainly has strong merit. California has a population of over 38 million people, which is more than triple the populations of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, the only US states that have currently legalized online poker and gaming.
This movement shows that California is joining the growing list of US States that are moving towards legalizing online slots, poker, and other forms of online gambling. Recently Nevada legalized online gambling. New Jersey and Delaware have also approved online gambling in the past two years. Several other states are following, including, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas, all of which are working to legalize online gambling this year.