The subject of online gambling in the state of California has been a hot topic for many months now. While there are many in the state that would like to see online gambling legalized, there are those, namely the tribal casino market that would like to see the option disappear or at least not interfere with their gambling market. This is the main reason that the option has yet to be passed in the state and according to the Commissioner of the Gambling Control Commission in California, Richard Schuetz, poker may be the only option allowed online in the future.
Schuetz recently spoke with Online Poker Report on the subject and in the interview, Schuetz spoke about online gambling for California and how the state may only have the option of offering online poker as there is a major fear that online gambling could be detrimental to the land based casino options run by Indian Tribes.
Schuetz covered a number of points in the interview including that the state of California would not be in need of interstate compacts to be able to function with online gambling. The state has a large population of 38 million people with one of the largest economies in the world; the state would not be hurting for players like other states in the US who have smaller populations.
Schuetz stated: “This game is about numbers. If the numbers aren’t there, all the wishing and hoping is not going to make it work. In some regards, it’s like a state saying, ‘We want to be an oil producer. Well, you better have oil. For a small state to try and develop a game that involves big numbers is a problem. So California is in a unique situation with its 38 million-plus people.”
In the interview, Schuetz stated that the tribal partners of the states are afraid that online gambling would ‘cannibalize’ their brick and mortar casinos. The casinos in the state are situated in areas that may be considered long distances by many in the state. With online gambling, one would be able to simply log on from home and play the same games. So convenience plays a major part in what players would rather do and online options are much easier.
Legislation cannot be created this year as the session has ended, but many look for 2014 to be the time for California and other states to begin to get in on the online gambling action in the United States.
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