Californian Online Poker – One Step at a Time

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Whilst on one hand the laws in the USA regarding online poker are becoming more draconian than before, on the other hand it seems that poker players living in California soon might be able to play online legally.

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It is a huge deal to the poker industry what happens to online players from the USA. New laws that come into effect in a few months time will make it even more difficult for online poker sites to allow access to players from the USA. Although these sites are based in locations such as Gibraltar and the Channel Islands, once they are deemed illegal by the USA, then who is to say what might happen to them and their owners; such is the influence of the Federal Agencies in the USA that they seem to have the power to operate over distance and across international boundaries, and they are rarely reluctant to use these powers when it suits them.. Forced extradition of people they regard as potentially criminal is just one example of what they are capable of as recently with have seen with Gary McKinnon the computer hacker and Roman Polanski the film director.

Flying in the face of this is a debate taking place currently in California. The proposal is to allow Californians to play online poker using a site based in the state. The site would be run by a band of Native Americans, the Morongo Indians. This group would work in an alliance with several bricks and mortar casinos.

The argument is primarily that as poker is legal in California, then the online version of the game is merely an extension of this.

Whether or not the proposal will be accepted is to be seen, but there are huge vested interests on both sides of the debate. One of these is the Californian state finances. Currently they are in a dire state, and the additional revenue generated by online poker taxes would be very welcome.

If it does happen in California, it is almost certain that other states will follow. Eventually it might become legal throughout the USA; one step at a time.

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