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Deciding the fate of on-line poker


Did you know that Los Angeles has the biggest card room in the country.  It is commerce casino off the 5 freeway just south of downtown LA.


Did you know that thousands of people in the Los Angeles area earn a living playing poker?


Did you know that until a law was passed in 2006 outlawing on-line gambling, internet poker accounted for hundreds of millions of dollars of financial transactions in-and-out of California?


In 2006 Congress passed a bill effectively making on-line gambling illegal.  Unfortunately for recreational and professional poker players alike, the skill game of poker was lumped together with traditional casino games of chance and outlawed. 


Although the outcome of a single hand of poker does have some element of luck, poker has been mathematically proven to be a skill game.  Players competing against each-other for money over thousands of hands of poker is very similar to golfers or chess players competing for cash prizes. 


This week the House ways and means committee is reviewing the 2006 law and the implications of legalizing on-line poker. 

With state and federal coffers empty, on-line poker players could be a major source of tax revenue.  At the time of the ban in 2006, PartyPoker.com sent lobbyists to Washington DC and assured politicians that if they could keep on-line poker legal, Party Poker could find a way to regulate deposits and withdraws.  The company even offered to 1099 players on their net winnings and forward a copy of the 1099 to the IRS.  Unlike 'live' professional poker players who play at casinos and can earn income undetectable to the IRS; on-line poker-players could easily be tracked and subject to federal and state income taxes


With horse racing, Indian casino gaming, and the Lotto all being legal in the State of California, there cannot be a moral argument about continuing to out-law a skill game like poker.


And with the state facing huge budget deficits we definitely cannot afford to turn down a source of revenue that California card-players are virtually guaranteed to produce. 

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