5/15/10 – One of the speakers to stand out at the recently completed GIGSE conference in Montreal was the gregarious state senator from California, Roderick Wright, who is proving to be a strong proponent of legalised, intrastate poker.
The senator seized the opportunity to let the industry know that he is currently drafting state legalization seeking to legalise, regulate….and tax, Internet poker.
Senator Wright was unable to give specific dates, acknowledging that the discord among Indian tribal groups and state and federal compacts with the tribes were among the political hurdles that will have to be cleared once the bill is introduced.
However, the Senator felt that standing back and doing nothing was not an option.
"We need to create a platform from which the state creates a profit from an asset," he opined, adding that an asset that does not produce value is of little use, and that if state lawmakers do not exploit an asset like online poker, someone else might take it over.
Wright declared his intention of providing a legislative platform through which experienced and reputable internet poker operators can profit, and through them the state of California; a platform that will encourage California’s legions of online poker players who currently spend an estimated $4 billion a year of their money on offshore sites to instead place their action with solid Californian-regulated companies.
"If we try to just shut down offshore operators, we lose that fight," Wright opined, explaining that his proposal envisages the issue of online poker licenses to suitable companies who are acceptable to the state justice department.