California Online Gambling would be Huge
Legal online gambling is nothing new in the United States. After all, Nevada is already running two online poker sites in WSOP.com and Ultimate Poker. And New Jersey is also running poker games to a select market while they wait to open things up to the entire state.
But while legal online gambling may already be up and running in America, what many people are still watching is the status of California. With 38 million residents, California is easily the biggest state in the US. Given its sheer size, the Golden State would no doubt be a lucrative market.
Richard Schuetz, who heads up California’s Gambling Control Commission, recently discussed the state’s finer points. “We have 38 million people, we’re the eighth largest economy in the world” he said. “We’re bigger than Canada, so it’s not a case like Nevada that has 2.7 million people. We have more poker tables in the state of California than every other state in the nation. For a small state to try and develop a game that involves big numbers is a problem. So California is in a unique situation with its 38 million-plus people.”
Schuetz’s words about Nevada ring true so far since both Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com Poker are struggling. They each average less than 100 cash game players per hour, much of which can be contributed to Nevada’s small population. Seeing as how California is about 14 times the size of Nevada, any legal online gambling site would easily surpass the WSOP and Ultimate Poker numbers.
However, it’s worth adding that California isn’t really that close to allowing internet gambling. The state will undergo elections next year, which means gaming legislation won’t be a top priority until at least 2014. Most predict that it’ll be even later than that.