October 7, 2009 (PAP Newswire) — There wasn’t time or, apparently, support enough in the last half of 2009 for the plan to legalize and regulate Internet poker within California’s borders to successfully play itself out … but that doesn’t mean that the driving force behind the plan — the Morongo Band of Mission Indians — has given up.
“Proponents are touting lawful California-based Internet poker available only to Californians as a balm for the state’s aching budget — and say the benefits include regulation, taxation and safety,” writes Mark Anderson in the Sacramento Business Journal.
“We just ran out of time, and the legislators just had too much going on with the budget,” said Patrick Dorinson, spokesman for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, adding that they expect to find a legislator who will carry a new bill “when the new legislative session starts in January.”
“People are going online and playing poker right now. We should all be focusing on the idea that this is something whose time has come, and let’s ask the question: How do we get it right?” Dorinson said. “We want to protect California consumers that are playing right now.”
The appeal to California legislators should be obvious, especially during this time of budget crisis: By regulating and taxing online poker, the state can take a potentially large cut of the action.
On the other hand, if the state chooses to stand by while federal lawmakers create a nationwide plan — which a handful are currently working hard to do — then its chances for taking in a share of that online poker tax revenue aren’t nearly as great.
“Let’s regulate it, and the state should get a cut of it. There is a lot of money sloshing around now and the state is not getting any of it.”