Update: Legalization of Online Poker Could Bring Millions to California


Advocates of licensed and regulated internet poker present the figures

This week, the US media reported on the financial estimates of the Morongo band of Mission Indians in case of establishing the regulated e-gaming market in California. Being in a strong alliance with Californian land card rooms California Online Poker Association, Morongo openly advocates one of the two actual legislative proposals for licensing and regulating online poker in this US state claiming that it would bring huge profits to the local authorities.

An association numbering 29 tribes and 13 non-Indian card clubs titled COPA supports the legislative proposal by Sen. Lou Correa COPA, claiming that $1 billion might flow into the state budget over 10 years.

Currently, California has a $25.4 billion deficit, and the prospects of obtaining new funds should not be dismissed. That is the cord that Robert Martin, chairman of the Morongo, tried to strike when he presented some figures in his interview to The Desert Sun newspaper:

“This (Internet gambling) industry generates $13 billion annually, and that's all going offshore. Today, 2 million people play each week. It's a huge market, and it's illegal. Not a dime out of that money comes back to the state.”

Blue Sky Consulting Group and the Center for Strategic Economic Research performed the analysis and survey for Morongo, and Martin publicly said that legalization of online gambling in California could bring around $81.5 million in new annual revenues, as follows:

Revenue from fees, $45.2 million.
Income taxes on net winnings, $24.1 million.
Corporation tax on profits, $1.3 million.
Indirect tax revenue on employee wages, $720,000.
Taxes on indirect economic effects, $10.2 million.

“It's big business,'' Martin said at the annual California Nations Indian Gaming Association conference.

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