California Budget Makes Online Poker Easy Pass, Says Lobbyist

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The political representative for the Poker Voters of America says California’s need for money may force legislators to rush the online poker bill into law.

The dire financial straits of the California budget put the state’s online poker proposal into great position to become law, says the main lobbyist for the Poker Voters of America. Chris Gallardo asserts the desperate need for revenue should usher in intrastate online poker as state lawmakers look anywhere for money to fund essential services.

Gallardo has been working the state legislature on behalf of the Poker Voters of America, an organization that concentrates on political expression for US and particularly California poker players. He thinks the need for state income, combined with inroads he has made into tribal councils opposed to Internet poker, may make the passing of the intrastate bill a done deal.

“We think we can help the governor and legislative leadership in trying to ease some of the pain of making cutbacks to essential programs,” Gallardo said.

Research firms have estimated that online poker could generate $250 million a year in revenue for state coffers. The budget shortfall in California is thought to be likely to reach an astounding $25 billion by year’s end.

Tribal lobbyists exercised their strength last year in fighting Internet poker, but Gallardo thinks the Indian groups are more accepting now of the proposal.

“I got to know a great deal of the tribes,” said the lobbyist. “I know online gaming can be a wonderful way to diversify their portfolio of gaming practices.”

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