Could eGambling Benefit California?

From the looks of things internet gambling legalization in California  might not be such a good idea after all. Many of the industry’s heavyweights such as the casino tribes, cardrooms and racetracks intends to bring internet poker and negative social impact to the sunshine state via gambling over the internet and smart phones.

Gambling via the internet is regarded as the “Motherload” of gambling in the US at the moment, at this stage California’s market has a potential 2 million players. Industry experts reckon that if it’s fully regulated the cash-strapped Sacramento could yield as much as $100 million per annum.

It seems like history keeps on repeating itself; way back in 1984 the state lottery was seen as a medium to save public schools. In 2000 the tribal casinos said their measure would alleviate the financial woes of the distant and deprived reservations. Both forms of wagering have been assimilated into major industries that was supposed to feed state coffers, yet it’s regarded by many as an addictive and destructive industry. That said it seems like the powers that be want to expand their selfish gambling interests to a new and uncontrolled market.

Presently a new bill with various licenses would be doled out to tribal casinos, race tracks and card rooms paving the way for the sponsorship of internet poker. The Federal Department of Justice gave them the green light last year since it focused predominantly on foreign based internet casinos.

The above mentioned gambling organizations are eager to tap into Internet gaming, however, in a bid to control this highly lucrative market they’re prepared to join forces and share its revenue. Their main target audience will entice gamblers to rather wager in the safe comfort of their own homes instead of visiting casinos and halls. Facebook is yet another medium for spreading the word: Social media game developers such as San Francisco-based Zynga  which offers free poker games, might still lose out in the big-money wagering online.

Personally we feel that California is not on the right track with regard to its proposal. According to the latest survey gambling sets the state back $1 billion a year in social costs. The damage will increase significantly should instant wagering take effect.

Darrell Steinberg Senate President, a Sacramento Democrat, and Sen. Roderick Wright, a Democrat from Inglewood in Los Angeles County, are the authors of the bill, SB1463. By all means there is no reason to double down now, they must rather find alternative ways to raise cash instead of deepening California’s dependence on gambling.



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