California is a poker hub for many gamblers worldwide, and the game is popular among people of all ages in the state too. Despite several state bans on the game, the number of regular poker players in California is even higher than that in Nevada. It is well known that Californians play poker for money and take the game very seriously. In fact, according to a recent estimate, it was found that the residents of California spend an average of $300 million a year on online poker websites based outside the US.
It is also estimated that if poker is legalized in California, the state’s revenues will sky-rocket, rising to almost $600 million in four years. You might be thinking what is the problem in legalizing it? Deciding on it is not easy because poker is a form of gambling, and it could become addictive in time. There are several issues that a state has to consider before legalizing a game that can have many after-effects.
Issues in legalizing online poker in California
Some of the factors that have to be considered before making the decision to legalize online poker in California are:
- Legalization of online poker would motivate people other than the regular gamblers to take part in the game. This may cause the new players to lose their money, and it also has the possibility of making them go bankrupt.
- Legalizing poker would change the attitude towards online gambling in the other states as well.
- If the game is legalized, all online poker operators would have to obtain a license to operate in the state. If not, playing with unlicensed dealers would still be illegal.
- The game must take place in a controlled as well as monitored environment, and the security of the game participants must be ensured.
California may soon legalize poker; the real question is when will the new law come to pass? Legalizing online poker has its pros and cons. The state officials have to keep in mind the raging popularity of the game in the state, as well as the repercussions of making it legally available, before coming to a decision.