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Internet poker could boost California budget coffers

LONDON - JULY 27:  A woman looks at the a casino websites on July 27, 2004 in London. Internet gambling websites should introduce age-verification checks to prevent children from betting online, NCH, a children's charity, urged on Tuesday. The call by the charity NCH came after it found that a 16-year-old girl was able to register with 30 gambling sites after lying about her age.  (Photo iillustration by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images).
Graeme Robertson/Getty Images
A woman looks at a casino website online.

With further budget cuts on the horizon for California, funds could be generated for the state with the legalization of Internet poker.

With further budget cuts on the horizon for California, funds could be generated for the state with the legalization of Internet poker. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg and state Senator Roderick Wright have co-authored a bill which, if it gets the go ahead, could raised $200 million a year for cash-strapped California.

The proposal received a boost from the U.S Department of Justice last year which stated that federal law does not prevent states from allowing some forms of Internet gambling. Other bills to legalize online poker have also been introduced in Hawaii, Mississippi, Florida, New Jersey, Iowa and Nevada. Critics of the bill say that legalizing online gambling would create further problems for those battling addiction.

Should Internet poker be legalized? If you are a gambling addict or live with one, are you concerned that legalization could make it easier to feed that addiction? Given that California is low on funds, should all options be considered to generate revenue?

GUEST

Rev. James Butler, Executive Director of the California Coaltion Against Gambling Expansion

John Pappas, ED of the Poker Players Alliance

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