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California Looking to Follow New Jersey’s Internet Gaming Example

3 December 2010 by admin

New Jersey is not the only state that is looking at licensing and regulating online gambling; California is now looking at it as well. There is a general hope that if New Jersey passes their bill for online gambling then other states can as well. However, California has one extra hurdle that New Jersey does not: Indian tribes who have a major say in the gambling interests of California.

But there is hope that California will follow in New Jersey’s footsteps. Negotiations with the Indian tribes in California have gone well and a bill similar to New Jersey’s looks to be making its way through the California law process next year.

With Republicans putting their foot down, saying that they know what is best for Americans—who obviously do not know what is good for themselves or how to spend their own money—online gambling on a federal level may not happen. But when those clever Republicans pulled a sneaky move in 2006 to pass the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) they left one little loophole: each of the fifty states has the power to legalize, regulate and tax online gambling within their state. And that is exactly what New Jersey and now California are heading towards.

The general idea of state-level lawmakers in these two states is that if the feds will not allow Americans as a whole to gamble online, then they will make it legal for the residents of their states. In other words, they are aiming to strike a blow to UIGEA and how ineffective and flimsy the law is.

UIGEA was passed in 2006 and put into effect this past June. Now in the lame duck session Democrats are working to attach Representative Barney Frank’s bill to overturn UIGEA and regulate and tax online gambling to an employment bill. Interestingly enough three Representatives, Spencer Bachus, Dave Camp and Larnar Smith, are accusing the Democrats of being underhanded in their attempt to legalize Frank’s bill, saying that attaching it to an employment bill is a “secretive, closed-door, undemocratic” way of trying to overturn UIGEA.

Perhaps those three Representatives have forgotten how Republicans attached UIGEA onto the tail end of a border protection bill in 2006 to get UIGEA passed. Let’s take a moment and think about the pot calling the kettle black.

But California is getting ready to strike their own hit to UIGEA by working to pass a bill to legalize online gambling in their state. If the Indian tribes can be brought on board, and it was looking like that was happening, then the bill will move forward in the next year.

New Jersey is looking to approve their online gambling bill early next year and are quite excited to be doing so. California is next in line it seems, and Florida is now making online gambling regulation noises. Those that are for online gambling regulation believe that if New Jersey can regulate online gambling and if California can do the same while working with their Indian tribes, that more and more states will move to regulate and tax online gambling.

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