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Play now! California makes a move to legalize internet gaming.

The recent move in the New Jersey Senate to pass Internet gambling legislation, has motivated California  to make a strong run at instituting intrastate online poker in 2011. Melanie Brenner is the executive director of the trade association Poker Voters of America.  Brenner says that they have a bill sponsor to be announced shortly.   They have been focusing their efforts in the Golden State. The challenge in California has always been with the Native American tribes, and they have made great strides there. But before they can make an official announcement there are a few details that must be worked out.

Without the support of the Indian Tribes California has little hope, and that is why there hasn't been much of a movement yet.  Previously attmepted bills have fallen apart without the help of the tribes, as they control the state gambling interest.  But with support from the tribes, the legislation could move as quickly as it we have seen it in New Jersey.

Other states fighting for legislation include Florida.   That bill, which will be sponsored in the Florida House of Representatives by Joe Abruzzo, is currently being drafted and is expected to be very similar to the California bill.

Both houses of the legislature remain strongly Democratic, and the new governor, Jerry Brown, is someone Brenner believes can be counted on to sign a poker-related bill. While the recent election established challenges at the federal level, where the Republicans took control of the house to limit Barney Frank's ability to push Internet gambling legislation, Brenner believes the political climate in California improved.

Calif still needs a sponsor however,  due to some fraudulant activity by State Sen. Rod Wright, who sponsored the bill this year. Wright previously chaired the state's Governmental Organization Committee, but unfortunately is looks like he isn't  expected to serve on the committee next year.



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