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The effect of New Jersey’s move towards legal internet gambling is being felt across the nation, with ripples reaching as far as the California coast.

Several critical parties have shed a degree of the resistance which has so long blanketed American politics, creating an environment which could eventually turn friendly toward legal online poker.

“The challenge in California,” says Poker Voters of America’s exec Melanie Brenner, “has always been with the tribes, and we have made great strides there. We are just ironing out a few minor details and then we will be able to make a public announcement of their support very soon.”

The PVA is understandably ecstatic over this change in attitude. Despite past interest from California’s legislature, the native tribes have long held a skeptical stance toward internet gaming. As their interest warms, the powers that be will seek to strike while the iron is hot.

A key figure in the proceedings will be new governor Jerry Brown, who was voted into office during the same elections which saw poker advocate Barney Frank’s influence diminish in the face of strong Republican gains.

“When we started this process, we started in the Attorney General’s office and talked to him,” says Brenner. “There’s no doubt where [Brown] is on this issue. He won’t come out fully behind it, but we know it will be a quick trip to get it signed by the governor if we can get it on his desk.”

As New Jersey nears a legal landmark, the eyes of the gaming nation are firmly affixed to their progress. Brenner, for her part, is hoping that her Garden State contemporaries can close the deal.

“I’m really pulling for them to get it done in New Jersey. It would be great for us. I think there’s a certain apprehension from some of the states on if they want to be first. When we first sit down with legislators, they always ask what other state has done this. To have a state up and pass legislation will give us more momentum.”