Commentary: California is wrong to bet on gambling

Given the state's dire fiscal circumstances, California's Legislature is ripe for a politically painless source of new revenues. On the surface, Internet poker appears to provide just that. But don't bet on it.

None of California's gambling schemes, whether the lottery or the state's now burgeoning Indian casinos, have ever provided the painless fiscal fix for the state that their supporters always promise.

As The Sacramento Bee reported last week, one of California's richest gambling tribes has hooked up with the state's biggest card room operators to push a bill to legalize Internet poker in California.

Details have not been worked out, but a draft of the proposal circulating calls for the creation of a consortium of card room operators and the state's 100 or so federally recognized tribes to run the online gambling enterprise. The state would get a cut of the action but how much has not been specified.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.