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California Tribe's Back Correa's Online Gambling Legislation

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The battle has begun in California over whether or not to follow New Jersey lawmakers and legalize online casinos. Two bills have already been proposed, with one calling for full online gambling, and the other limiting the Internet gambling to only poker.

Senator Lou Correa has proposed Senate Bill 40, a proposal to regulate online poker, and allow only existing casinos or tribal casinos to operate the online gambling sites. The Santa Ana Democrat has the support of the Indian tribe's.

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association voted 9-4 in favor of backing Correa's bill over the proposal from Senator Roderick Wright. The Inglewood lawmaker wants all forms of online gambling regulated, and many of his colleagues have shared that opinion.

California has been racing New Jersey and Florida to become the first state in the country to regulate online gambling. New Jersey appeared to have won the battle when legislators passed an Internet gambling bill earlier this year. Governor Chris Christie, however, may veto the legislation.

If Christie vetoes the bill, and a decision must be made by Thursday, then California would again be the front runner to become the first state to take the bold move of regulating online gambling. It is not yet known whether either Correa's or Wright's bill will make it through this year.

The Indian tribe's have spent millions of dollars over the years lobbying California lawmakers to expand gambling. Poker interest groups have also joined in that fight in recent years, with online poker becoming one of the most popular entertainment outlets for Americans over the past decade.

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