There is a lot happening across the United States lately concerning regulated online gambling. There are currently 4 states in varying progress considering legalizing intrastate online poker. The one closest to making this a reality is New Jersey.
Today is the day for Governor Christie to act or not act on an intrastate online poker bill that has been lying on his desk since January. What was once considered an easy bill to get signed has gone all the way to the very end and Governor Christie has set a news conference for this morning at 11 am EST.
Although Christie has expressed skepticism over having intrastate online portals, Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union the sponsor of the bill claims it will be run by existing casinos licensed in New Jersey and will boost casino revenue by $100 million and would create 500 high-tech jobs in the region.
In California earlier this week the 62,000-member Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) endorsed Sen Lou Correa’s bill to regulate intrastate poker in that state. This bill also got the support of California Nations Indian Gaming Association just last week.
Florida Rep. Joseph Abruzzo’s bill is scheduled to be discussed beginning March 8th as Florida pushes to become the first state to have legalized online poker. According to Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz,
“It is likely with a $4 billion budget deficit that Florida legislators will approve the online gambling bill. The revenue may be too much to ignore for lawmakers looking to win over public support.”
Yesterday Iowa’s Senate State Government Committee approved the Internet Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2011 by a vote of 9-6 sending online poker to a vote in the full Senate there.
It is estimated that 150,000 Iowans are playing online poker coasting the state and estimated $30-$35 million in gaming taxes.
According to Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City, who voted yes yesterday,
“If we don’t make a move now, the federal government is going to make a move in the next few years, and we’ll lose the revenue to the federal government. I think it’s forward-thinking.”