Tuesday November 18,2014 : CALIFORNIA HORSE RACING CHIEF HAS HOPES FOR ONLINE POKER
"If structured properly, online poker could benefit all of California’s gaming entities."
Josh Rubenstein, a senior exec with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in California discussed the positive possibilities for legalised Californian online poker this week with the publication California Online Poker, opining that a properly structured licensing regime has the potential to benefit all of the state’s gaming bodies.
Rubenstein explained that horse racing, which employs 50,000 Californians and contributes $2.5 billion annually to the state’s economy, is the only legal form of online wagering in California, and the horse racing industry has had efficient, regulated internet wagering operational in the state for the past 15 years.
"On-line wagering has been a growing part of our business, is a vital source of revenue for horse racing and critical to our survival," he said, noting that the exclusivity of casino-style gambling to Indian casinos had a negative impact on business which motivated the horse racing industry to level the field by developing online wagering.
Rubenstein said he was optimistic about the chances for intrastate online poker legalization at some point, and thought it could benefit all gaming bodies if properly structured, protecting jobs and providing economic stimulus.
He revealed that the horse racing industry has engaged in discussions with tribal groups and the card clubs on the topic of legalization and how it might be brought about to everyone’s advantage, and said that his industry remained open to ideas as long as the horse racing industry was regarded as an equal participant.
Options on the table include the horse racing industry’s participation either in alliances or on its own.
"Whichever the direction, given the horse racing industry’s 15 plus years’ experience with regulated online gaming, we look forward to being a meaningful contributor to online poker legalization and the subsequent success of a site," he concluded.