A bill has been introduced in California that will investigate the legality of a California-only online poker service. Assemblyman Lloyd Levine introduced the bill in hopes it would be legal under federal law and be able to be regulated as a service for California residents. After the passing of the UIGEA in October of 2006 a strain was put on the market for online gambling. These small victories (if achieved) may be precisely what the online poker industry needs boost its morale.
Levine and his supporters are looking for any loopholes in the federal law and their ongoing study will soon bring results. If it’s found to be a legal service, California would receive a nice boost in state revenues due to its regulation efforts. One of the biggest drawbacks of the deal is that it appears the player and the server hosting the online game must both be located in the same state. Levine’s bill will hopefully bring all these answers to light.
Each state has the potential to allow and regulate online gambling for its residents. That being said, there are still several issues to work out in setting up an intra-state poker room. Levine told Capital Weekly the beauty of a one-state system is that the state legislature and governor will be able to make the decisions as to who will be permitted to run online operations and how tax would be evaluated.
For now, Levine’s bill will be looked at as merely a study on whether or not the operation would be legal. If the results show that it is indeed legal, they may clamp down with the idea and push for it to become law. Levine has also mentioned that it could be a forward step toward complete re-legalization of online poker in the state of California.
It’s important to remember that the passing of the UIGEA does not outlay what illegal online gambling is. That is an issue left up to the states to determine. Individual state power in the U.S. legal system should not be overlooked as it may be the very thing that eventually pushes hard enough for legalizing online poker playing.