he Governmental Organization Committee, which is responsible for gambling laws in the state, will begin talking about regulated Internet gambling after the new year. Chairman Roderick Wright has confirmed the discussions, which will revolve mostly around online poker.
The state does not have much room to bring much more than poker to online gamblers. California has several compacts with Indian tribes involving casino gambling, and any expansion into the online market would have to come with the approval of the tribes.
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is behind the idea of regulated online gambling. They are one of the top casino providers in the state, and their stance on the issue will carry a lot of weight with other tribes.
If the state does change their laws to include online poker regulations, it is likely that the tribes would want the first opportunity to go online. It may well end up being a win-win situation for both the state and the tribe.
Nationally, the online gambling issue has become one of the most talked about issues in the country. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act has been at the center of much of those discussions.
Representative Barney Frank has proposed legislation that would overturn the UIGEA and set up the foundation for a regulated Internet gambling industry in the US. Frank and other Internet gambling supporters just won a victory by having the rules for the UIGEA, which were set to go in effect on December 1st, delayed until next June.