Is Online Poker Good for California Tribes?

California-PokerCalifornia has a full house when it comes to legalized poker. According to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, there are 89 cardrooms in 32 counties in California, and of the 110 federally recognized tribes in the state, 58 of them run 60 casinos — many of which have poker rooms.

Even so, there is still a big pot of money left on the table with Internet poker, a game currently not legal in California. (Only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have legalized Internet poker.). Efforts to legalize Internet poker have been ongoing in the state legislature for more than seven years. To the outsider looking in, it’s not an easy issue to follow, as there are many players with a stake in this game, including 14 California tribes.

While these tribes would all like a piece of the estimated $300 million in potential annual revenue from Internet poker, they are at odds as to who else should be dealt in on the online action — namely horse racing tracks, and an online gambling site that operated illegally in the past — which has stalled attempts to move legislation forward.

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