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Nevada and the District of Columbia have already taken steps to authorize online poker, and state officials in Iowa have been studying the issue closely. But as desperate as states are for new revenue, after four years of often painful austerity, there are questions about just how much income they can expect to receive from online gambling.
Still, advocates of online poker in California say that the state should not throw away a winning legalization of income on the Internet just because the pot is not big enough to solve all of its problems.
He thinks legalization could bring in more than the estimates show. States could make money by taxing the rake, and by selling licenses to run the sites.
Comment Synopsis FICCI estimates that around Rs 3 lakh crore changes hands every year - through bookies, websites or tech-enabled channels. Getty Images The moral history of gambling is littered with cases of addiction, resulting in personal and familial ruin.
Supporters of online gambling say the current estimates may undercount how many people would play poker online. Many of the forecasts are based on how many people have played on illegal Web sites in the past.
But placing bets on illegal Web sites requires a leap of faith — that the electronic cards are shuffled fairly, that other players cannot see your hand and that the Web site will pay you if you win. Legal, well-regulated Web sites, supporters say, would attract more players.
In fact, the proposal to legalize online poker in Iowa is more about protecting consumers than about raising money, said State Senator Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from the Cedar Falls area who is drafting a bill. Most states are looking to legalize online gambling only within their own borders — so that both the gamblers and the computers that process their bets would be in the state.
But Mr. Danielson said he believed that the recent Justice Department opinion — which was issued this fall in response to questions by New York and Illinois about whether the Wire Act of prevented them from selling lottery tickets online — could pave the way for Iowa to join other states in a bigger online poker game.
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Some states are looking to legalize other forms of online gambling — which could yield them much more money. The District of Columbia has authorized a plan to offer not only poker online but also blackjack and bingo.
This was secured with software developed by CryptoLogican online security software company. Safe transactions became viable; this led to the first online casinos in
And New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill last year — which was vetoed by Mr. Christie — that would have legalized all sorts of casino gambling on the Internet. Analysts expect states to act quickly. Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School in California who writes a blog called Gambling and the Lawpredicted that states would move faster to approve Internet gambling than they did to establish lotteries, which are now run in 43 states.