A similar measure is working its way through the New Jersey state legislature, with strong support and excellent odds of becoming law by early next year. Brenner said that the success of such a bill in New Jersey could prove to be an impetus to get California legislators moving in the same direction
California may soon have another attraction besides sandy beaches and movie stars. State legislators are working on a measure to allow for legal online gambling for state residents. The state budget has seen huge cost overruns in the last few years, which has forced reductions in state services and furloughs for state employees.
The popularity of online gaming, especially online poker, is seen as a potential cure for the state’s budget crisis. The election of Democratic governor Jerry Brown, as well as a Democratic majority in both houses of the state legislature, would make the passage of an online gambling bill much easier.
Melanie Brenner, executive director of the Poker Voters of America, said that the major obstacle to legal online poker in the state is not from conservative politicians or moral and religious leaders, but from the Native American tribes that depend on income from the numerous brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the state.
“The challenge in California has always been with the tribes, and we have made great strides there,” Brenner said. “We are just ironing out a few minor details and then we will be able to make a public announcement of their support very soon.” She also said that the legislative sponsors for the bill would announce the details before the end of the year.