The state of California is not offering online gaming at this time but for the past few months, industry leaders have been discussing the potential of the state. With the largest population in the United States, California is a prime spot for online gambling. The state may create legislation in 2014, but in the meantime, PokerScout and Academicon created a new study that shows the potential for revenues in the state and the numbers are quite impressive.
According to the research, if the state were to legalize and regulate poker online, as much as $263 million could be earned during the very first year. This number could then jump to just over $380 million in ten years.
To conduct the study, researchers used information from figures based from 2009 to 2010 when poker was at its prime in the US, of course before regulation. The study found that 178,300 players in online game play were able to create $867 each year in revenues for operators. This totaled $155 million. One author of the study, Professor Kahlil Philander, commented that with regulation, online poker would be expected to grow beyond the previous peak.
While some states, like Delaware and Nevada, consider working together to create larger player pools, the state of California wouldn’t necessarily have to do so. The market is large and could sustain itself, but Dr. Ingo Fiedler, a second author of the study, found that the size of the market will depend greatly on if the player pool will be limited to in-state or if a federal or international network for players is created.
Overall, the study clearly shows that the state can easily benefit from offering online poker gaming services. It will be interesting to see if the state, as well as other individual states, begins to create legislation to legalize and regulate online poker and gambling over the next year.
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