Online poker bill to emerge

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Online poker bill to emerge

SACRAMENTO - Online poker players in California someday could choose among several legal gambling websites under a bill expected within days from a key state lawmaker.

The legislation by Sen. Rod Wright, who leads the Senate committee that oversees gambling, would make California the first state in the country to legalize online poker, with potentially billions in revenue for the beleaguered state treasury.

Wright's proposal differs significantly from what a successful Riverside County gaming tribe has pushed. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Banning has promoted a "tribal intrastate Internet poker consortium" that it would run with several card clubs.

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau
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