The Legalization of Internet Poker in California could have a massive financial impact on the state’s horse racing industry.
Horse racing in California stands to make $60 million annually if legislation passes to permit internet poker in the state. The bill is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, and could mean big things for horse tracks and horsemen in the future.
Currently, horse racing is the only legal form of internet gambling allowed in the Golden State. The legalization of internet poker in California has faced a number of hurdles, notably from the tribal gaming industry pushing against racetracks participating in online poker. US gambling laws are constantly changing, and this bill reflects that.
California horse racing has exclusive rights to legal gambling in the state through account wagering providers. The legalization of fantasy sports and sports wagering are being considered in the legislature.
How Long Until Internet Poker in California is Legalized?
Any potential vote from the state assembly or senate will likely not take place for several months. The bill would require the signature of California Gov. Jerry Brown to be put into effect.
Nick Coukos, the president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, was a co-signer of a letter to California Assemblyman Adam Gray emphasizing the want for state annual revenue to be divided between horse tracks and horsemen. Coukos believes that the revenue obtained though internet poker in California would allow them to compete financially with other states.
”We want to make sure we get our fair share of the wagers,” Coukos said. “It will be millions of dollars that could be directed to purses and commissions for the racetrack.” The $60 million obtained through internet betting will likely have a massive boost for purses throughout California. Wednesday is a big day for both horse racing and the future of internet poker in California. Stay tuned for more updates on the situation.